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The week ahead ...


Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award unveiled. Squeegee merchants, ISP flops and accountants need not apply. European Farm Ministers meet in Brussels. British farmers meet in potential punch-up outside the Labour Party Conference in Yawnmouth.


Interims from BATM Advanced Communications. I haven't the slightest idea who they are but their shares have risen 1,500 per cent since being launched in July. The company now has pride of place in RT's Emerging Sheer Ignorance Fund. World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington. On the agenda: replacing gold with royal box Wimbledon tickets as a reserve currency; cancelling Third World debt by calling it "the US trade deficit"; and making whoever runs BATM Advanced Communications economic dictator of the world.


Interims from the Bank of Scotland to be dominated by NatWest's stout defence of its independence and massive boasting about its acquisition of Legal & General.


Finals from Smith Industries and interims from Maiden, Quadrant Healthcare and Quality Software Products. Remember, it was the sheer adrenaline buzz of days like this that made you go into the City in the first place.

Hands off my assets ...

DEREK WANLESS. Resisted a lewd pounds 21bn bid from Bank of Scotland.

LEEK UNITED. The chief of the building society, Neil McFadden, hit back at a pounds 30m takeover grope by Murray Financial.

OLIVER WHITEHEAD. The chief of Alfred McAlpine was highly offended by a pounds 294m takeover bid by Brunswick Developments.

DIANA ROSS. The superstar singer vented her spleen when she accused an airport security woman of touching her breast.

Financial news in brief

Bank breathing down your neck? Market under attack by a rapacious US multinational with limitless capital? Head office sent in the management consultants? 'Feng Shui' magazine comes to the rescue.

* "Having fish brings staff together and a large fishtank can counteract negative energy from electrical appliances."

* "Keep your toilet seat down and keep plugs in plug-holes to prevent chi being needlessly 'flushed' away."

* "Hang a pa kua mirror above the main door to deflect 'poison arrows'."

* Once your toilet seat is nailed down you should "slowly gain a feeling of rightness about the world".