AS A replacement for Sky’s newest business recruit Mark Kleinman, a man with one of the fattest contact books in journalism, the appointment of Kamal Ahmed as Sunday Telegraph business editor was never going to sit well with his jilted rivals.<br /><br />Ahmed, currently head of comms at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a former political editor at The Guardian, hasn’t exactly had reams of experience in the business world.<br /><br />And now word reaches The Capitalist that he’s been signed up for a course at the London Business School, to brush up his skills for the job at hand.<br /><br />A Telegraph Media Group spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm the news, saying only: “TMG invests in all its staff and all Telegraph staff undertake training. As a member of the Telegraph staff, Kamal Ahmed will be entitled to do the same.”<br /><br />Telegraph editor Will Lewis, of course, is himself off to Harvard for a spot of just such training.<br /><br />But that rationale is hardly likely to comfort the aforementioned rivals, given the number of highly experienced business journalists who were scrambling to land the prestigious role, now is it?<br /><br /><strong>SONG AND DANCE</strong><br />Canary Wharf really has turned into the place to be for spotting film stars.<br /><br />Wharf workers are already looking forward with anticipation to early September, when the Canary Wharf Film Festival is coming to town. But I hear there was even more excitement last weekend, when some of Bollywood’s biggest names descended upon the area for a spot of filming.<br /><br />Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Riteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan – the Brads and Angelinas of the Indian film world – turned up to shoot a comedy scene from their new movie Houseful, which is about a man who is rather accident-prone. But despite some of the alarming-sounding sequences in the film (the one being shot in Canary Wharf involved a small child falling into a cement mixer, followed by a car crash and some good old fisticuffs), I’m told the film ends with the guy getting the girl, in a traditional happy ending. All together, now…<br /><br /><strong>COMFORT FOOD</strong><br />Speaking of good news, how’s this for a load of recession-busting stats.<br /><br />According to Peter Harden, the co-publisher of the Harden’s London Restaurants guide, the rate of closures among restaurants in the capital over the past year is at its lowest since 2000, with new restaurant openings actually up eight per cent year-on-year.<br /><br />Only 64 eateries in London shut their doors in the past 12 months, including Chelsea’s Brasserie St Quentin and the Michelin-starred L’Ambassade de L’Ile.<br /><br />And openings – including Angela Hartnett’s Murano and the much-trumpeted St Pancras Grand – were up to 121, compared to last year’s more dismal 111.<br /><br />Happy times indeed.<br /><br /><strong>CHEAP ‘CHIC’</strong><br />Penny-pinching newly-weds must look no further for what must truly be the most threadbare of honeymoon deals.<br /><br />Budget hotel chain Premier Inn has launched a two-day holiday package costing just £58 – including dinner, bed and breakfast, cut-price excursions, a bottle of Prosecco, strawberries, a “luxury” box of chocolates (read: Cadbury’s Milk Tray) and “glamorous” nightwear (read: Primark silk-effect nightie and baggy checked men’s pyjamas).<br /><br />Well, it may not be the height of luxury, but at least there’ll be a few quid left over for a pint down the pub.<br /><br /><strong>ASSET HUNGRY</strong><br />A City chum is getting terribly excited about an idea for the collateralised loan obligation (CLO) market, after having read about Italian banks deciding to accept fine wines and premium hams as collateral.<br /><br />Now, the Italians already accept slow-maturing Parmesan stocks as collateral, so the whole shebang isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, but our entrepreneurial financier has plans to take it even further.<br /><br />“How about marketing a ‘structured wedding feast CLO’, backed by fine wines, lobster, fillet of beef or smoked salmon?” he asks, carried away on a tide of enthusiasm.<br /><br />“If the borrowers default, you get to seize the assets and if the default rate hits peaks, you have to push your kids to get married in order to throw a wedding party.<br /><br />“You could keep a sharp eye on concentration risk and if it gets too high you could eat and drink your way out of it. The wine component would guarantee liquidity and distressed asset managers would have queues of ‘asset hungry’ investors lining up outside their doors…”<br /><br />He then goes on to suggest Kosher versions without the ham and lobster, Halal options without the wine, and so on and so forth. It may all come to nothing, but it sure is making The Capitalist’s mouth water.