The Canary

Welcome to London: Tony Blair himself is expected to greet delegates to the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which throws its annual bash in London next week. Doubtless he will be too polite to mention the bank's massive losses in Russia. The bank is refusing to disclose the condition of its loan book, describing the matter as "secret".

Sell the euro: In January, it seemed every analyst in town was telling us to fill our boots with euros. Since then it has been all one way in the wrong direction: German politicians demand interest rate cuts: sell the euro. War in the Balkans: sell the euro. Now the prospect of an interest rate cut in Euroland has provoked the standard reaction: sell the euro. Where are all the geniuses who were telling us in January to buy the euro? Crafting more drivel, no doubt.

Life is a cabaret: Paris rocked as JP Morgan threw a splendid party at the Musee des Arts Forains to honour those attending the Inter-American Development Bank annual meeting. There were expensive cigars, clowns and even a carousel. Could this be a sign that the party's back on for emerging markets? One cynic wasn't so sure: "It's hard to tell which are the clowns and which are the bankers," he said.

Online bankers: The introduction of e-mail at Coutts allows customers to send provocative messages to their managers. One customer, infuriated by reports that the bank had extended a pounds 4m overdraft to the Queen Mother (right), received his comeuppance, however, when an e-mail whistled back insisting that there was "no truth at all" to the recent stories.

Licence to print money: Whoever said it was impossible to make money on the Internet? British physicist Laurence Godfrey has so far filed info highway libel actions against companies and individuals in the Australia, Canada, the United States, and New Zealand and his winnings are mounting. Now he has managed to persuade Mr Justice Morland to allow him to proceed against Demon Internet, which carried an allegedly libellous posting on an obscure Internet news group, falsely purporting to be from Godfrey himself. Upstanding though Godfrey certainly is, the decision opens the possibility for potential litigants to anonymously libel themselves, and then to turn around and sue every Internet service provider within reach of a writ.

canary@excite.co.uk

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