Warning: Black holes can damage your eyes


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.

ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Accounts Payable

£12 - £15 per hour: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: Excellent opportunity to join...

Technical BA - Banking - Bristol - £400pd

£400 per hour: Orgtel: Technical Business Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £400pd...

Account Management Strategy Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice