Business Diary: Johnson chokes on his coffee

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The Independent Online

Luke Johnson, the private equity mogul, might want to check staff aren't spitting in his latte next time he pops into Starbucks for a pick-me-up. Johnson is less than complimentary about the coffee chain in the latest issue of Management Today – and particularly its chairman Howard Schulz. The Starbucks founder's latest tome, How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul, is on sale in the chain's coffee shops. "This book is 350 pages of self-indulgent claptrap," Johnson says.

No pipe of peace for Ryanair

it's yet another brush with authority for Ryanair. The budget airline's policy of testing staff to check they have not been using drugs is causing some disquiet in Belgium. The test for cannabis use requires staff to submit a hair sample for lab examination and is compulsory under Ryanair's staff contracts. However, disgruntled employees in Belgium claim the tests are illegal under the country's privacy laws – and they have now been publicly condemned by the transport minister.

Britain, the home of entrepreneurs

so you thought Britain was full of jobsworths totally incapable of seizing the initiative, right? Think again: a survey from Société Générale suggests that British billionaires are much more likely to be self-made than their American counterparts – or indeed the super-rich of almost any other country. Some 80 per cent of British billionaires are self-made, SocGen reckons, compared to 68 per cent in the US. Only Russia scored more highly than the UK in the bank's survey.

Oil's role in the war on terror

US energy magnate T. Boone Pickens thinks he knows why terrorists are able to continue targeting his country. "I amtrying to get away from theterrorists," he has told CNBC. "I think the money we pay to Opec gets in the hands of the Taliban." It isn't entirely clear how the great man has arrived at this view, but he is fed up about the fact that the US is selling so much natural gas to countries such as China. "So here we are, we're exporting our clean-burning fuel and importing dirty oil from the enemy," he adds. "We're gonna go down as the dumbest crowd in history that's ever come to town."