CRUMBS, the fixed income social scene can’t be much cop if Pimco’s resident investment guru-cum-scrooge Bill Gross is anything to go by.

Gross – a founder and 38 year veteran of the distinguished company – popped out one of his monthly investment outlook notes yesterday, beginning with a lengthy spiel on the evils of the humble cocktail party.

“Which would I prefer – solitary confinement or water boarding? I lean strongly in the direction of a warm bed and peace as opposed to a glass full of tinkling ice cubes and a room resonating with high-decibel blather,” he grumbles, before launching into a tirade about the dull conventions of social interaction at such events, complete with a chart plotting the number of seconds into conversation against how much he really cares about what you’re saying.

(Apparently, the worst culprits are five tried-and-tested openers, including “where are you from?”, “how’s the family?”, “medical problems” and “how’s work?” – none of which Gross cares a damn about – and “can you believe Tiger?”, about which he cares, but “the wife is only five feet away”.)

There seems a lesson to be learned here: namely, that all those who’ve ever found themselves working a room alongside Gross should be truly concerned about their social skills.

His withering parting shot? “Actually, the ‘afterparty’ is the best party of all – driving home with your partner and dissing all of the guests…”

A coup for public relations adviser Finsbury, which has been hired by the “Red Knights”, the group of businessmen that congregated at law firm Freshfield’s offices in Fleet Street on Monday to discuss a possible £1bn takeover bid for their favourite passion Manchester United.

Finsbury knows a thing or two about United, having worked with the club when it was a publicly listed company in the run-up to its takeover by the Glazer family in 2005. David Gill, current chief executive, was around in those days, though for some of the time as chief operating officer.

Presumably Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist that has hired Finsbury for the job, also knows that account manager Jamie Leviton is a Spurs fan and that Finsbury’s head boy, Roland Rudd, enjoys a corporate season ticket at the Stamford Bridge, home of United’s arch rival Chelsea?

Nick Candy, one half of the sibling duo responsible for some of the smartest buildings in London, has been opening up about his jet-set lifestyle.

Candy, writing in April’s edition of GQ magazine, says he spends up to 800 hours a year on aeroplanes, meaning he’s more qualified than most to judge the service provided to first class fliers. (The award for the best airport lounge, for those who are interested, is the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow, while the best on-board lounge comes from Qatar Airways and the friendliest service is split between Virgin and Air New Zealand.)

Incidentally, the worst airline food is provided by Delta Airlines, according to Candy, though he certainly makes up for it when he reaches his destination.

“I once calculated that in the space of 12 months I’d flown 400,000 miles, visited 38 different countries, stayed in 67 hotels…and eaten out about 360 nights, something my personal trainer despaired at,” he muses. How the other half live, eh?