Credit crisis diary

Wednesday 25 March 2009 01:00

Former UBS chairman faces mob rage

If you thought the vilification to which British bankers have been subjected is a little over the top, spare a thought for the former UBS chairman Marcel Ospel. Since quitting the Swiss bank last year as it plunged into crisis, Mr Ospel has suffered the indignity of being ejected from his local golf club and been barred by several Zurich restaurants. And, we hear, Mr Ospel was even set upon in the street. Perhaps Sir Fred Goodwin should think himself lucky.

Sir Tom escapes his tormentors

So Sir Tom McKillop, right, will not be publicly traduced for a second time by members of the Treasury Select Committee. Despite the former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman objecting to evidence given by Lord Myners, the City minister, to MPs on how the bank dealt with the pension of its disgraced chief executive, Sir Tom will not be recalled (instead, he'll provide written evidence). He's a lucky boy.

A fiscal stimulus for advertising spending

Not all advertising budgets are being cut in these difficult economic times. Figures from Nielsen Media Research show that the Government, through the Central Office of Information, spent £178.1m on advertising last year, almost 20 per cent more than in 2007. That made the state the UK's second largest advertiser, spending just £600,000 less than Proctor & Gamble. And since the consumer products giant has just announced a 10 per cent cut in ad spend, you can bet on the Government making it to the number one spot this year.

City Index proves over-optimistic

Did you bet on the Footsie with the spread-betting firm City Index yesterday? If you gambled on the index going through 4,000, it might be worth claiming, even though London Stock Exchange screens suggest the highest point of the day was only 3,992.42. A newsletter sent out by City half an hour before the close was entitled "FTSE breaks through 4,000". Don't rip up those betting slips just yet.

Greece singled out for tough treatment

What have the Greeks done to annoy Brussels bureaucrats, who are in the middle of a crackdown on EU member states who have dared to allow their budget deficits to breach agreed limits? While Spain and France have until 2012 to get their deficit back under control, according to EU sanctions unveiled yesterday, Greece has been given a deadline of next year.

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