It's banking and boozing week. Interim figures from HSBC. Although most people still think it is the latest horrendous brain and body eating virus, the bank has been doing well lately. Things are looking up in its main Far Eastern markets now that the Koreans are no longer melting down their teeth fillings to realise cash and the Chinese government looks like honouring its debts. The over-excited brewery sector, still reeling over the Punch taverns episode, steels itself for the start of the annual Camra real ale festival, which is taking place in a huge shed in London.
NatWest to report. Modest to good improvements all round, hindered by a certain sluggishness in reorganising its high- street branches and scrambling on board e-commerce. Exceptionally groovy advertising running at the moment - the sort that wins awards but scares off customers. Also BP Amoco interims. Chief executive John Browne's dad refused to buy him a train set when he was little, so over the past year he spent $84bn buying Amoco and Atlantic Richfield instead. Even with a soaring share price and new revenue streams he will have to save his pocket-money for a long-time before he can plug the gap.
Orange to report. Dr John the Night Tripper makes a rare appearance in London. Spotlight on the pensions industry as Queen Mum - Gawd bless 'er! - reaches her 99th birthday.
Barclays interims. No time yet to assess the impact of Matt "mischief" Barrett as chief executive, or his pounds 9m salary contract. After rapid departures of previous two chiefs, Matt is promising to stay on board for 10 years. He has just separated from Anne Marie Sten, a "Cindy Crawford lookalike". This is a rare case of a man being sacked by his wife so he can spend more time at the bank. See also: The week's Barclays.
Beer festival ends. Dr John goes back to New Orleans. The future is orange. Eclipse mania starts.Reuse content