Warning: Black holes can damage your eyes

CITY DIARY

Asil Nadir's claim that the only reason he had dark rings under his eyes was because he was a workaholic can at last be officially challenged. Richard Stone, the court-appointed administrator who led the initial investigation into the finances of Polly Peck International, has been talking of the early days before the discovery of "the black hole''.

When the administrator first met Mr Nadir in the Polly Peck offices above Annabel's he asked the tycoon if his jaded peepers were in any way influenced by the proximity of the nightclub. No, Mr Nadir assured, it was all down to hard work. Mr Stone says he believed him. Until he discovered the Cypriot's five mistresses on the Polly Peck books.

Meanwhile, the long-suffering Chris Barlow, co-administrator of Polly Peck, is looking decidedly perkier after returning from his peace talks with the fugitive businessman without a bullet in his backside.

Mindful of the treatment meted out to British accountants in northern Cyprus in the past, Mr Barlow wrote to the government demanding full and proper protection. He was duly met at the airport by squads of police who took him to Mr Nadir's hotel.

Once there he was crushed into a tiny lift with two colleagues and a sweating bodyguard. Barely had it started than the lift broke down.

Although he confessed to not having actually read it, Eddie George, the Bank of England Governor, yesterday appeared comforted that the Singapore report on the collapse of Barings had reached the same conclusion as his own - ie Nick Leeson was a rogue who lost pounds 1bn.

Oddly this is not a view shared within Barings itself where they are keen to put the record straight. "Nick Leeson lost about pounds 50m,'' breathes a senior source. "The other pounds 950m was lost by the bank's management.''

After extensive research on economists' salaries the Society of Business Economists has interpreted the data to mean that they could do with some more money. Being economists they didn't put it quite so succinctly.

"While the median pay level has grown slightly faster than average earnings, at times the real value of economists' salaries has fallen,'' says their report.

What this means is that the large salary rises in the 1980s have not been repeated in the 90s - "a difficult time for many middle-class professionals but particularly for those paid to forecast the depth and extent of the 80s downturn as accurately as possible''.

Quite. But the "median'' salary of SBE members is still pounds 42,500, compared with an inflation-adjusted pounds 20,000 in 1964. The problem is that economists hit their peak earning years in their early thirties.

Sir Phil Harris, carpet king, South London boy made good and the only remaining Tory party donor, likes to stick to his roots. Among the impressive list of City advisers listed in the Carpetright annual report are the bankers - National Westminster (Tooting).

Julian Richer (above), hi-fi retailer turned trendy management consultant, has taken a sudden turn into the secondhand car trade. The man who galvanised the Asda workforce by persuading his pal Archie Norman to introduce the "drive a Jaguar for a month'' incentive programme has opened a Mercedes outlet in Leeds.

Mr Richer became famous by rewarding loyal staff at his hi-fi chain, Richer Sounds, by lending them his Rolls-Royce for a month. The company quickly entered the Guinness Book of Records in the highest-turnover-per- square-foot category and left the founder free to preach staff motivation techniques to big business. The secondhand car shop, called Julian's, will buy and sell prestige Mercedes. "We've got very good vibes about this one,'' said a spokesman.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat