ALAN SUGAR BECOMES A CHRISTIAN COVER STAR

ALAN Sugar likes to boast that he was in the Jewish Lads Brigade in Hackney, flew Jewish comedian Jackie Mason over from New York for his 40th birthday party and when a contestant on The Apprentice told him “I’m Catholic and I give you my word”, he replied: “I’m Jewish and I couldn’t give a toss.”

A funny choice to be the face of a campaign to convert people to Christianity, then. But the Scottish branch of the Assemblies of God, a fundamentalist Christian group, has somewhat bizarrely put Lord Alan on the front of its latest magazine, as an example to its congregation on how to evangelise.

The accompanying article says Christians should be more like the former Amstrad chief executive when trying to recruit to the church. “In business terms, it should be the easiest thing in the world for us to promote faith in Christ because we believe 100 per cent in our product,” it argues.

“Lord Sugar has no involvement whatsoever with this organisation and we have had no approach for permission for his name or likeness to be used in this article,” his spokesman told Scotland on Sunday.

The Capitalist can’t help thinking that they could have put the message across more simply, with a picture of Lord Sugar wagging a finger and a dirty great headline reading “Sinners: You’re Fried”.


PLANE TASTES
HE made his name flogging reasonably priced clothes to the British people when he was chief executive of M&S, and is still the company’s chairman, but as he counts down to leaving the job – he will stand down in 2011 – it seems that Sir Stuart Rose’s tastes have become a little more highfalutin.

Asked in a newspaper over the weekend what he wanted for Christmas, the high street supremo responded that he hoped to receive a plane. More specifically, “a TBM 850 single-engined high-performance turboprop, built by Socota, powered by an 850HP P&W PT6A-66D engine.”

Tricky to fit in a stocking. I bet he gets pants, like the rest of us. From M&S.


BLACK EMUS
THEY probably aren’t laughing in Dublin or Madrid, but maybe it’s best to keep a sense of humour about the euro’s latest disasters. Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill – the man who coined the terms BRICs to describe the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China – has been holding forth on the future of the euro.

The picture he paints is not positive. But it seems he sees laughter in the darkness. He said that “very extreme” outcomes are possible for Eurozone countries, if they don’t come together and start some sort of fiscal union. “There are elements of the black swan concept that seem rather applicable to the EMU story,” he quipped.

Some economists are loath to speak out right now. It’s good to see that some are prepared to say that the euro is a turkey.


ALL IN ON RED
YOU might recall that a couple of weeks ago a box of vintage Bordeaux was sold for £43,000 at auction in Hong Kong. Well, it’s been bettered. A casino in Singapore has gone, er, all in on red by splurging £111,000 on a case of Burgundy. Which, if your maths isn’t immediately up to it, comes in at £9,250 a bottle. The wine in question was a Romanée Conti 1971, which has been described as having a “perfumed mix of spiced tea, smoked beef jerky and abundant earth.” Gary Boom, MD of wine auction expert Bordeaux Index, who has recently hired a representative just to look after the growing market is Singapore, said that demand is being driven there by “gift-giving”. Good times.

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