City Diary: Dubai's debt-laden Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum goes on an equine spending spree, while Red Ken turns fifty shades of grey
The Tattersalls yearling sales enjoyed a record start on Tuesday, with turnover up 27pc on last year’s opening session to a sporting 23m guineas.
The biggest contributor to the haul was Dubai’s racehorse-loving ruler Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, who spent 3.7m guineas on 14 horses, including the top lot Raven’s Pass, which changed hands for 800,000 guineas after Irish tycoon John Magnier pushed up the price.
All great news for the horse-racing industry.
But, not to rain on the sovereign’s parade, the spending spree comes hard on the hoof of Commerzbank (Other OTC: CRZBF.PK - news) , RBS (LSE: RBS.L - news) and Standard Bank last month launching legal proceedings against Dubai Group, the Sheikh’s investment firm, after failing to find a “consensual solution” for restructuring its $10bn (£6.2bn) debt.
Time for Clifford Chance, which is representing Dubai Group, to have a quiet word about reining in the Royal spending?
= Channelling the weather =
Remaining in Dubai, too much fog in the state capital has sent a number of executives flying in for this week’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit off course.
Melvin Ming, the president and chief executive of Sesame Workshop, and Naveen Tewari, the founder of Bangalore advertising network InMobi, were both affected.
David Kenny, the seasoned chief of The Weather Channel, was not.
= Fifty shades of Red Ken =
A literal interpretation of whether London should love its bankers at Tuesday night’s Intelligence Squared debate of the same name, courtesy of Ken Livingstone.
“I’ve never physically loved a banker,” the ex-London Mayor piped up from the “con” side of the panel. “But if tonight’s motion is carried, and I’m told I must love my bankers, I think I’ll turn to that Fifty Shades of Grey and go for a bit of sadomasochism.”
Financiers brace yourselves the motion was passed.
= Sir Mervyn's regrets =
Over at the London School of Economics meanwhile, Sir Mervyn King ruminated on what might have been had he achieved his long-held ambition of “being boring”.
The unkind might suggest the lecture King subsequently delivered on “Twenty years of inflation targeting” complete with a counterfactual thought experiment on monetary policy ticked that box.
But no matter the main takeaway is that the exiting Bank of England governor is rather sad his days are numbered.
= Bloomberg rewired =
Big Brother is watching Bloomberg staff, who will tonight enjoy drinks in the reception of their 50 Finsbury Square HQ to usher in a new productivity-tracker cunningly disguised as an artwork.
The installation is designed by Tobias Rehberger, who has created 888 spheres that light up throughout the day “depending on the number of people logged into the computer network of the building”, says the publicity froth.
Understandably, the newswire’s toilers are not impressed. “It looks like some sort of psychedelic chandelier, really odd,” says one critic. Will the last person to leave Bloomberg please turn out the lights?