ROGUE TRADER

The week ahead ...

Monday

RT's favourite company Ashtead Plant Hire to report. The former penny share has put on nearly pounds 500m capital value in a decade, by doing clever things like renting out electronic oil survey equipment to the Sultan of Brunei. Sultan of Brunei to buy 15 per cent of Manchester United. David Beckham to buy 85 per cent of Borneo with proceeds of OK! wedding picture deal.

Tuesday

Unexciting UK RPI inflation figures. Slight increase due to Volvo price- fixing ring and global warming-related seasonal distortions: soaring price of sun block, belly-button piercing, hurricane precaution products, malaria cures, hand-held personal cooler fans, snake-bite serum. Public sector becomes sulky and mildly obdurate.

Wednesday

Slightly less dull UK wage inflation figures likely to show salaries rising more slowly than prices. General strike thought to be unlikely. On the same day, US inflation figures. Also dull. No change in the public sector today. Civil servants to devote day to backward thinking, writing memos to tea-ladies, straightening carpet tassels and sticking heads in the sand.

Thursday

Stanley Leisure, the betting shop and casino group, to report. The company issued a profits warning moaning that Lady Luck had seen to it that the favourites kept winning horse races and football matches. The group has been expanding its way out of trouble. Although it is thought that any business based essentially on the work of the devil could not possibly go wrong, a turnaround will be difficult now that Satan has added the National Lottery, internet betting and the AIM to his arsenal.

Friday

Public sector congratulates itself on surviving another week entirely unchanged. Goes home to enjoy a relaxing weekend of crown green bowling and implacable bloody-mindedness.

This week's public sector reactionaries

JOHN PRESCOTT - Undermined by Faceless Wonders in Downing Street, protector of Old Labour foot- dragging in the Department of Transport, the Health Service and Town Halls.

SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY KCB, MVO, MA (Oxon) - Chinless Wonder who headed Department of Administrative Affairs, resisted change and frustrated No 10. (Now replaced by Ms Appleby Humphrey MBA (Oxon) on secondment from Touche-Lybrand-Waterhouse-Crosby-Stills-Nash. Embraces change).

POSTMAN PAT - Foot-dragging low-productivity Public Sector employee. Brainless Wonder. Exploits monopoly by driving under-used red van round country lanes at 5mph, singing songs and wasting time helping villagers with heads stuck in buckets. Resists change.

... AND HIS BLACK AND WHITE CAT (JESS) - Deeply uncompetitive public sector fat cat, incapable of learning new tricks and more interested in eating fish than Total Quality Management. Now to be floated.

Commodity news: the ups and downs

Previously: Brent's passionate relationship with US stocks had left him firm but nearing exhaustion. Coffee was stable again, and Copper was feeling perky. Gold was heartbroken when she discovered that two-timing hunk Alan Greenspan saw her as "just another commodity - nothing special". She tearfully realised he would never make her his reserve currency.

Now read on: Drama continues for Gold. After being deserted by her life- long partner Inflation, she had literally been dumped on the street by cruel bachelor Gordon Brown and then led up the garden path by Dr Greenspan. Earlier this week she fell for the handsome but wicked aristocrat Robert Champion de Crespigny of the Australian Gold Council. The vile Champion de Crespigny dallied with her for a while, before refusing her pathetic pleas for a price fix, showing her the door and selling her short. Brent Futures, meanwhile, broke up with his steady date, US Stocks. Last week US caused excitement by pulling down her inventories to an obscenely low level, but now she was satisfied and had had enough of Brent's crude, leaving his spot price floppy. Minor character Onions was banned from leaving India after his crop failed and the Essential Commodities Act was invoked. Ex-glamourpuss Sugar was down again. But everyone else was up - cheered by what was happening to Gold. What next? To find out, tune in next week.

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Sport
video
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Analyst - Financial services, Client data, LEI

£40000 - £50000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading, Cit...

Management Consultancy - Operational Research Analysts

£35000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: You must ...

Corporate Actions Consultant - Market data, ISO15022, presales

£45000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Corporate Acti...

Prudential Risk/Operational Risk Associate - London

£350 - £400 per day: Harrington Starr: An opportunity has arisen at a FCA regu...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal