ROGUE TRADER

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The Independent Online
The week ahead ...

Monday

It's national boredom week, with almost everybody in the City departed to Tuscany. Interims from the WWP Group. The group has been on an acquisitions binge in recent years, as part of a mad plan to become a one-stop shop for every big corporation's bullshit operations.

Tuesday

Interims from Mersey Docks & Harbour. The Government sold off its remaining 14 per cent holding 18 months ago. And since then the management has been desperately trying to take over the running of docks in such places as South Africa and Maputo.

Wednesday

Central Rail Users Consultative Committee Annual Report with performance figures. After grumbles over broken rails, and with Railtrack executives de-coupling their performance bonuses from service delivery targets, another bumpy ride for the Fat Cats.

Thursday

A-level results published. More evidence of dumbing down as catastrophic effects of school league tables to bite. But there is no reason to worry about the long-term structural consequences for the economy. American teenagers have been clueless for generations, and their economy is booming. Ignorance is strength!

Friday

Zoe Ball gets married to Fat Boy Slim. Annual Dead Cat Bounce ceremony in the City of London.

The week's moments of totality ...

ECLIPSE OF THE SUN: moment of totality - two-minute wonder causing Britain to come to a standstill and idiots to get their retinas burned.

MINI STOCK MARKET CRASH: moment of panic totality - two-hour wonder causing the City to come to standstill and idiots to get their fingers burned.

MERVYN KING MOMENT OF CONFUSION: two-day wonder. The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England blotted out all other news with an awe-inspiringly muddled inflation report.

DUKE OF EDINBURGH: moment of total madness in the Great Indian Fusebox Fiasco. Blotted out positive publicity and warm glow created by Sophie's marriage.

Commodity news ... in brief

Rubber is in trouble because Sri Lanka has left the international rubber price-fixed cartel. Aluminium continues to enjoy a rare spell in the limelight, with chemicals also volatile in the wake of mergers. Coffee is set for a fall after Mexican hoarders started dumping, and Peru started producing again after terrorists, who used to pull up the plants and set fire to them, were liquidated. The Americans were burning petrol like there's no tomorrow, causing prices to rise. The rain forest was on fire in Indonesia, but not in Belize where the production of Michael Ashcrofts seems to have come to a temporary halt.

Financial news

From RT's consumer services department, a weekly bench test, value for money guide to the financial pages. This week: The Financial Times versus Loaded.

Item: Financial Times Loaded

Price pounds 0.85 pounds 2.80

No of pages 40 212

Price per page 2.13p 1.32p

No of pics of flashy 1 (BMW) 5 (radio-controlled cars this week toys) No of pages filled 10 90 (of the 36-24-36) with rows of figures variety

No of George Best 0 35 pics

Typical headline Isotron dips as Come and Have Steris offer lapses A Go If You Think You're Hard Enough

Reader offer Offer to tender Free sample Adidas Dr6.5bn contract energising shower gel

Basic editorial For people with For people who are stance number skills numbskulls

% of content which 63.4% (there's, like, 23.85% (men can was news to me this huge war have sex with women going on for control while balancing on of the world's a surfboard) aluminium industry)

% of content 4.32% (the highest 6.82% (George worth knowing paid person in Washington's teeth New Zealand earns were made of wood)

only $1m)

p/e (photo/ 1/170 786/4 earnings) ratio

RT value index 1.3455246 0.9673159

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