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Over in the US former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan has talked about the “fear” driving the currently volatile stock markets and the reluctance of the human race “to confront bubbles” (yeah, OK, Al). I bet current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke wishes his predecessor would put a sock in it and retire gracefully (and quietly).


Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has announced increased profits but has warned they could be hit in the coming year by the smoking ban. Chairman Tim Martin focused on the “caution” side of the message but he should be pleased about a 9% jump in full-year pre-tax profits to £62m. So that’ll be a pint of Greene King IPA, a gin and tonic, and a packet of cheese and onion, please.


A guide to UK tax law has had to be printed in smaller type to keep its size under control. Tolley’s Yellow Tax Handbook explained the law in 5,952 pages in 2001. This year, however, despite the smaller type, 9,866 pages are needed to do the job. Said one harassed small businessman: “It’s absolutely flipping ridiculous.”


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