Basement talk logoDon’t bank on it

National newspapers were alive with
news last month that GE Capital was about to launch an Egg-style
online retail bank. It seems everyone from London’s CITY
to the UK’s Yorkshire Post had their own take on
the move.

But it wasn’t clear if GE Capital
knew yet. True, GE Capital has been offering such a service in
Germany for some time, and a move to diversify funding sources
through online banking would make sense for a lender that lost
access to so much cheap credit during 2008. But when called, GE
Capital appeared as surprised as LL about the news.

“This is about that Sunday
article, isn’t it?” a spokesman replied, with some

Whether the strategic decision
really did appear ex nihilo in the Sunday pages, or
whether GE Capital is pulling a solid bluff on LL, only
time will tell. Either way, it makes good food for thought. Next
month: BNP Paribas to set up combined dairy farm/furniture
warehouse chain.


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Clothing for robo

Picture of Cupcake Clothing executivesHats off to Cupcake Clothing
for securing a £250,000 (€302,463) factoring facility from Lloyds
TSB. The kids’ clothes manufacturer wants to use the facility to
help to generate its target turnover of £3 million. But LL
couldn’t help wondering about its target customer. On the basis of
the photo (right), one can only assume the kids it’s
aiming for are robot children from the future, sent back in time to
destroy mankind. We rest in the knowledge that, even if we are all
soon to be ruled by robot children, they will be very well-dressed,
cupcake-adorned robot children.


Male drivers and Shirley

“Strictly embargoed until: 00:01
BST, Friday 20 August 2010.” So began a communiqué that arrived at
midday on 18 August, hot from Volkswagen subsidiary Seat. What
news? A strict embargo usually signals a merger, a takeover or a
sizeable deal. Could this be the hot story of the week? We held our

Cue much rolling of eyes and sighs
of disappointment all round as the press release was read: “One in
five men confessed that when alone in their vehicle they most enjoy
singing along to Shirley Bassey, Wham! and Take That.”

We knew Volkswagen drivers were sensible. We just didn’t
appreciate how tame they really are.