Business Diary: Cameron avoids Vedanta row

Friday 30 July 2010 00:00 BST

How new politics works: with David Cameron in India, the demonstrations at the London agm of Indian mining group Vedanta on Wednesday were potentially embarrassing. That may explain a change of tone from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which tells us Mr Cameron didn't raise the topic on his mission, as "ultimately Vedanta's activities in India are governed by Indian law". The same BIS last year said: "Vedanta [has] failed to put in place an adequate and timely consultation mechanism fully to engage the Dongria Kondh, an indigenous community who would be directly affected by the environmental and health and safety impact of its plans."

No swearing at Goldman

"Boy, that Timberwolf was one shitty deal," a Goldman Sachs staffer famously emailed, in an exchange that came to light during the bank's recent run-in with the SEC. Well Goldman doesn't intend to be embarrassed like that again – it has just issued an edict to all staff banning them for swearing in email (though it doesn't say anything about not doing more shitty deals).

Toilet trouble for investment guru

Bill Gross, head of Pimco, the world's largest bond investor, often begins his strategy updates with an offbeat thought or two. This month, however, he has excelled himself with an 800-word rant against toilets that have an automatic electronic flush facility. "I support a retreat to the old days, the good old- fashioned hand-flusher," Gross concludes. "One push, and presto – you're good to go." Just what provoked this outburst, we wonder.

Hayward's boat has a new name

More on the yacht co-owned by outgoing BP boss Tony Hayward and Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica. The boat, which caused Mr Hayward some grief when he was pictured sailing it during the oil leak crisis, is named Bob, which seems a little peculiar – until one finds out it was previously known as Bear of Britain. That really would have gone down badly with BP's American foes.

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