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The Weekend Round-Up November 2, 2009

The Sunday Times
Denting Student Debt Cash-strapped university students can now have their own trading hub where they can buy and sell textbooks, used computers, CDs, iPods or anything else they want to offload for extra readies. Entrepreneur Neil Canetty-Clarke will launch across 200 UK universities in a few weeks. But there will be some ad vetting. Says Canetty-Clarke: "No beer funnels, no plagiarised essays and definitely no bongs." As if.

No More Ms Nice Kraft boss Irene Rosenfeld is said to be gearing up for a £10.5bn hostile bid for , Cadbury -- but it's likely the chocolate-maker won't bite, with its expectations of an offering valuing the business at around 850p a share.

RBS Nearly Nationalised State aid to the Royal Bank of Scotland will take the government's stake in the bank to 84 per cent. Taxpayers will foot the bill for the take-up of up to £19bn of 'B' shares in the bank, which has also been ordered by the EU to offload Churchill and Direct Line insurance businesses in addition to its international concerns and chunks of its investment bank.

The Observer
Can you have it all? Office workers aren't supporting working parents, according to the Working Parents Survey 2009. Childcare was not an acceptable excuse for running late, but a delayed train was, according to the survey -- and outgoing Observer political editor Gaby Hinsliff's experience bears this out. "While young women have the energy to fight colleagues who undermine them, bosses who underpay them, or a culture which undervalues them, an already exhausted and conflicted working mother is more likely to decide life is just too short," she writes.

Spar's Scouse Wine Labels Spar has decided to localise its wine labels so that Liverpudlians now have a "totally boss bottle of Merlot which smells o'blackberry, choccie, a brew and toffees. Juicy and complex like, this bevey is top wi most scran 'specially me ma's scouse." Quoi?

Secret London The City is among the top five places to dodge taxes or launder money, according to The Financial Secrecy Index. The usual havens -- the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg -- feature, too, but top of the list is no offshore haven, but little Delaware on the east coast of the US.

The Sunday Telegraph
Wanted: 17,000 Beds London's Olympic contracts will be opened to tender this week as the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (say that really quickly) opens itself up to bids for everything from sports kit to beds portable loos. Businesses can bid for contracts worth £700m through CompeteFor, described as a kind of "business dating agency".

This Isn't Just a Bonus... Marks & Spencer's 70,000 employees look set to reap the rewards of high performance if profits hit £575m to £600m, as expected. It's not quite Goldmans, but if M&S hits its targets, each of its 70,000 members of staff will get around £850.

Shaking the Piggy Bank... More on the bank break-ups, with three new(ish) high-street brands to be created for consumers -- William's and Glyn, an old Royal Bank of Scotland creation, among them. The aim is to introduce new competition into the market and encourage lending to businesses and consumers again. Whether this will be successful is open for debate: banks argue businesses aren't much in the mood for loans and once these new banks are sold by government, it will be difficult to compel them to lend.

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