MT's Week in 60 Seconds

This week: the pong of protectionism, a pile of profit, and a plethora of pillows.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

The spectacular fall-out from the SocGen trading scandal has continued unabated this week; as Jerome Kerviel morphed into a fully-fledged internet star, rumours abounded that his employer was not quite as ignorant of his actions as it made out. And naturallement, the French President moved to head off any foreign bank thinking of an opportunistic swoop. Across La Manche, his counterparts in Whitehall were preoccupied with avoiding future financial disasters, as Chancellor Darling defied the Treasury Select Committee to put forward his plan to deal with Northern Rock-style implosions.

Elsewhere, some corporate giants have been shrugging off the financial market woes to record bumper profits – notably the big oil companies, led by Shell on Thursday. BA has also been making money hand over fist, despite some blows to its reputation - as has Google, though that didn’t stop another fall in its share price… But others were not so cheery. BSkyB could end the year in the red after the government said it would be forced to sell its ITV stake, while tour operator TUI is having to close 100 high street travel agencies. And Ryanair’s advertising department twice landed the low-cost carrier in hot water.

We are also reminded that it’s hard work being a CEO – if your VC backers aren’t turning up the heat, you can worry about the fact that your US counterparts are earning way more than you. Still, you always follow M&S boss Stuart Rose’s example, and write letters about your halcyon days as a naturist. No such consolation if you’re the spawn of a celebrity, however – just ask TV super-cook Nigella’s kids, who are being chopped out of her will.

And strangest of all, the news that Conrad Hotels is now offering a menu featuring over 75 types of pillow . It’d be a great place for a mass pillow fight - perhaps this would be the best way to settle Kerviel's upcoming court case?

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