Imagine how Diego Maradona feels. On top of all his other concerns in this World Cup year (and they are considerable for Argentina whatever those odds makers claim) he probably was not expecting his own dog to bite him. On the lip. Three times. The upper lip. 'Nips of God'?

The dog is a Shar Pei - a breed of Chinese origin designed for guard duties. Wikipedia has this, amongst its usual anorakian tit-bits, to say on the race:

"It is a largely silent breed, barking only when playing or when worried."[link]

Which brings to mind the FSA. And there is some confusion in the City of London, apparently, about just which mood the regulator is in. Gartmore Group lost 13% of its value last week on mere rumours that one of its star managers had "links" to one of the insider trading suspects arrested on 24 March.

With remarkably unfortunate timing (for there are, it seems, no links to the raids - see Reuters link below) today Gartmore have suspended that same manager (cue share price fall of 30%) and launched an investigation into:

“breaches of internal procedures regarding directing trades”
Which, decoded from My Learned Friend-speak into plain English, might come to be interpreted as "directing trades" not to the cheapest broker but to the most knowledgeable and helpful one.

Possibly comfortingly for Gartmore investors the statement also said:

“Gartmore has not identified any information to date which suggests that Gartmore’s clients have suffered any loss as a result of these breaches,”
The suspended manager, a 3.85% owner of the fund in question, may indeed draw comfort from it. So long as it emerges that Gartmore cack-handedly chose the worst conceivable moment for his reputation to issue today's statement; and the time never comes to establish the plausible deniability that sprinkles of losing "directed trades" provide.

(Business Week report here)
(Reuters story here)

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