AFTER all the talk of City types shying away from blowing their cash in lap-dancing clubs in these bleak post-crisis days, it comes as a bit of a surprise to see that one such chain has opened up yet another den of debauchery on the fringe of the Square Mile.<br /><br />Yes, club operator Secrets, which already has five clubs across London, has unveiled a new venue in Covent Garden &ndash; in direct defiance of reports that such activity is on the wane.<br /><br />&ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t say demand has tanked over the recession &ndash; we&rsquo;re seeing more customers through the doors, although they are probably spending less,&rdquo; Secrets owner Stephen Less tells me. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s because people getting the big bonuses are worrying about spending them with the continuing uncertainty in the City.&rdquo;<br /><br />Less, who says his new club will target the affluent crowd of bankers and lawyers camped just on its doorstep, is also trialling a different business plan &ndash; he&rsquo;s opening the bar earlier in the evening for punters keen to &ldquo;pop in&rdquo; for a cocktail hour with a difference, accompanied by a group of lithe pole dancers. Contrary to popular belief, ladies and gentlemen, the era of erotic client entertainment seems far from over.<br /><br /><strong>WACKY BACCY</strong><br /><br />Glad to see that City minister Lord Myners hasn&rsquo;t lost his sense of humour despite weeks of thrashing out the finer points of the raft of complex bank agreements announced yesterday.<br /><br />Outlining the details at a Treasury press conference yesterday with customarily risqu&eacute; flair, Myners told the assembled hacks: &ldquo;If I&rsquo;d have forecast back in February (which I would not have done) that Lloyds could raise substantial amounts of private capital, most of you would have looked at me as if I&rsquo;d smoked something Professor Nutt thinks it&rsquo;s OK to smoke&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>JOINING THE CLUB</strong><br /><br />Spotted lunching yesterday at the swanky Mark&rsquo;s Club in Mayfair: none other than legendary Guinness Four fraudster Anthony Parnes, known in his City stockbroking heyday as &ldquo;The Animal&rdquo;.<br /><br />What&rsquo;s more, The Capitalist&rsquo;s spies report having caught sight of Parnes several times in recent months, dining at the equally-exclusive George club &ndash; which is, like Mark&rsquo;s, owned by restaurateur Richard Caring, the London smart set&rsquo;s unofficial keeper-of-the-keys. Could it be that Parnes, who spent 21 months languishing in jail following his conviction for the Guinness share scandal, has finally achieved complete social rehabilitation?<br /><br /><strong>SHOW BUSINESS</strong><br /><br />As orders go, they don&rsquo;t come much taller than this: trying to raise a million pounds for charity by tapping one&rsquo;s City chums.<br /><br />But that&rsquo;s the challenge Les Ames, the dealing director at stockbroker WH Ireland, has taken upon himself and his partner-in-crime Bob Page, in order to raise vital funds for the NSPCC and Childline.<br /><br />Not that he isn&rsquo;t in with a darned good chance, mind: in addition to organising various events over the next year and a half, he&rsquo;s also decided to put his extra-curricular talents to good use by releasing his own Christmas single. <br /><br />Ames, you see, is a bit of a dark horse, having previously enjoyed a career as a West End musical star before joining the ranks of the City &ndash; and Page, his partner-in-crime, used to be his manager. <br /><br />The songster, pictured below signing his very first record deal, is currently torn between the idea of recording a cover of a well-known pop tune or a big ballad, so watch this space.