Monday, April 20, 2009

Credit Crisis Diary: Reflections from Across the Pond

Credit crisis diary: Ofcom promises staff they will go to the races

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Life working for a regulator may be more exciting than you'd think. Ofcom, for example, is currently advertising for apprentices to train "in the diagnosis and resolution of radio spectrum interference complaints and associated regulatory/enforcement matters". The good folk at the telecoms regulator clearly realise the job is a hard sell, even in these tough economic times. "Shadowing our experienced engineers in the Field Operations team, you will get the opportunity to learn from the experts and may be involved in some exciting and high-profile projects and major events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix", the advert promises.

Best of luck to Exec Digital, a new online magazine for wealthy businessmen that hopes to defy the recession. Its maiden issue features a guide to the best luxury boats – including the £1.4m Fairline Squadron 55 – which one feels is somehow a little out of keeping with the tone of the times. But maybe we're being over-sensitive.

A bitter pill for Sugar

It was a battle of the business world's knights of the realm, and Sir Alan Sugar came off worse. Asked in a poll who would make the best job of running the economy, more than 1,000 small businesses plumped for Sir Richard Branson. He got 52 per cent of their votes, compared to only 30 per cent for Sir Alan. Pity Dragon's Den boss, Peter Jones, who trailed in last.

The FSA picks the wrong audience

What is the Financial Services Authority trying to say about northerners? The regulator is trialling a free money advice service only in the north-east and north-west of England, which seems a bit off, given that so much of Britain's consumer debt pile is concentrated in the South-east. And there aren't too many of those recession-causing bankers in Newcastle or Manchester.

Will absence make the heart grow fonder?

The BBC's award-winning business editor, Robert Peston, doesn't seem to be too popular with the public. After signing off his last blog with a warning that he would be taking a short break, Peston was inundated with comments from viewers delighted by the news that he would be absent from their screens for a few days. One correspondent even suggested he spent some of his holiday buying a few decent ties.

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