IF THERE&rsquo;S one City high-flier who finds it hard to say no to a new opportunity, it must be Stuart Popham, the jovial senior partner of legal giant Clifford Chance.<br /><br />Popham &ndash; in addition to his role at the head of the world&rsquo;s largest law firm, his chairmanship of the CBI&rsquo;s London council, and his membership of the City of London&rsquo;s EU advisory board (among others) &ndash; has agreed to chair TheCityUK, the new body set up to promote the interests of the UK financial services industry.<br /><br />&ldquo;Yes, I am rather trying to retrieve my work life balance,&rdquo; he chuckles. &ldquo;There hasn&rsquo;t been much time for sailing recently&hellip;&rdquo; Quite. Still, Popham does seem an ideal figure to improve the general public&rsquo;s understanding and tolerance of the City, if his choice of explanatory example is anything to go by.<br /><br />&ldquo;What I always say is that financial services are involved in everything &ndash; right down to your humble cup of tea,&rdquo; he says. (Farmers in India hedging the price of tea; chartering a vessel to bring it to Blighty; converting pounds to rupees once it&rsquo;s been sold, borrowing money to open new tea plantations, selling it to large supermarkets who&rsquo;ve borrowed money on the bond market; consumers using debit cards to buy the tea&hellip; you get the picture.)<br /><br />If you want to strike at the heart of the British public, The Capitalist can&rsquo;t think of a better place to start than with a good cuppa.<br /><br /><strong>GIRLS ON TOP</strong><br />Ladies, get ready to preen: Hedge Fund Research has found that female fund managers delivered almost double the returns of their male rivals over the period between January 2000 and May 2009.<br /><br />Apparently, we women are infinitely better at managing risk, and are also better in a crisis &ndash; in 2008, female-run funds were down 9.6 per cent compared to a 19 per cent drop for men.<br /><br />At the risk of being lynched by the gentlemen of the City, how about telling us something we didn&rsquo;t know?<br /><br /><strong>DOG FIGHT</strong><br />What is it with these airline chief executives lashing out at their arch rivals?<br /><br />EasyJet boss Andy Harrison yesterday took a leaf out of his forceful Ryanair counterpart Michael O&rsquo;Leary&rsquo;s book as he slammed the high-profile merger between British Airways (led by Willie Walsh, above right) and Spain&rsquo;s Iberia.<br /><br />&ldquo;BA stopped being a competitor to easyJet a long time ago,&rdquo; he sniffed. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re far more efficient than them on short haul flights &ndash; they&rsquo;re just not very good at it.&rdquo; Ouch.<br /><br /><strong>COSTUME PARTY</strong><br />The City is just full of unknown treasures, isn&rsquo;t it?<br /><br />Word reaches The Capitalist of the Square Mile&rsquo;s friendliest &ndash; and most seasonal &ndash; neighbourhood tramp, currently inhabiting the area around St Paul&rsquo;s and Gresham Street. Said vagrant dresses every day in either a Bob the Builder outfit &ndash; complete with hard hat and fluorescent yellow coat &ndash; or a Santa Claus suit, bobble hat and all (though I&rsquo;m told the rotation happens year-round rather than being reserved for the festive season.<br /><br />&ldquo;Perhaps he&rsquo;s an ex-Lloyds banker haunting the streets outside their headquarters, spreading Christmas cheer,&rdquo; ponders one passer-by, dreamily&hellip;