ENLARGED RETURNS TO GREET M&S SHOPPERS

FINALLY – the working man’s answer to the wonderbra has arrived: M&S has just unveiled its brand new range of “enhancing underpants” for men. The pants come in two styles: “a bum-lift pant” and a “frontal enhancement pant”, one intended to project the image of a well-firmed posterior and the other giving City money men an easy way to, ahem, manage their endowments.

But M&S isn’t fannying about: it gives buyers a firm promise of “38 per cent visual enhancement in size” – not a bad return on an investment of just a tenner. Hard-nosed investors should note that the “bum-lift pant”, which will set you back a little more at £15, promises only a “20 per cent lift”, but Dave Binns, M&S’s head of buying for men’s underwear, says it’s a good deal: “Our technologists have worked hard to engineer two styles that are comfortable to wear and that give real results,” he says.

The Capitalist recalls that when former chief executive Stuart Rose joined the retailer, he made a statement of faith in its products by wearing M&S suits. So with his firm trail-blazing the way forwards in men’s briefs, will incoming chairman Robert Swannell make the same gesture?

BORIS CAESAR

Not many tech-savvy professionals have the time to dive into Virgil or St Augustine, but Google has gone ahead and released a Latin-to-English translation service anyway. “Veni, vidi, verba verti” read the announcement: “I came, I saw, I translated”. The search giant admits that the service will probably not often be used to translate Youtube.com captions or emails, but suggests that it might be helpful for scholarly research – and for those crucial moments during a deal when you need to swot up on legal terminology. At least the news has been greeted enthusiastically in city hall – London Mayor Boris Johnson, author of a book on why Rome was run better than the EU, released a statement almost immediately: “Exspectata dies adest, amici!” he wrote. “The long awaited day is at hand, my friends. Congratulations to Google, and let’s have English into Latin, too, followed by English into Latin dactylic hexameters.” Well, quite.

CITY LIGHTS

RBS last night played host to a gaggle of bright young things as the City of London Business Traineeship scheme hands out its Trainee of the Year award. The outgoing Lord Mayor Nick Anstee presented the winning gong to precocious A level student Connor Cassidy, who so impressed his UBS supervisors that they extended his placement beyond the usual 12 weeks. Others in attendance included Sean Taylor of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, Addleshaw Goddard’s Marcus Jamieson-Pond and the Royal Bank of Canada’s Gareth Hughes.

DRILL BABY

City oil tycoon Bryan Benitz has just added another public venture to his extensive energy portfolio – and this time, he’s bringing Benitz Jr on board to manage the day-to-day ops. Andrew Benitz, formerly of Deutsche Bank’s oil and gas corporate team, will be playing COO fiddle to his CEO dad in the joint venture Longreach Oil & Gas, which they just floated on the Toronto stock exchange. The firm has acquired shares of four licenses for energy prospects in north Africa. In one, Longreach stands to rake in a sizeable 30 per cent of returns in proprtion to its share. And with the father-son team aiming to outline specific drilling targets early next year, Longreach has given a whole new meaning to the phrase “drill, baby, drill”.