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Welcome to Capital Confidential—a weekly diary column featuring the best tidbits from around the U.K.’s business and political landscape from MarketWatch sister publication Financial News.
Jennifer Arcuri to publish book… but it isn’t about Boris
American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri’s association with Boris Johnson when the prime minister was London mayor is being investigated by the London Assembly, which is asking why she was given privileged access to trade trips.
Arcuri recently joked in a notorious interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain that we would have to wait for her book to get the full story. Now Capital can reveal she is actually publishing one next May.
Arcuri’s book, Hands on Hacking, is about how ethical hacking can provide the solution to cyberattacks and is co-wrote by Matthew Hickey, her husband, and cybersecurity expert James McAlonan.
“Hands on Hacking has categorically nothing to do with Boris Johnson,” Arcuri confirms to Capital via email. “This book is written from the genius technical ability that my husband, @HackerFantastic, has and has built into our hacker house training portal.” The tome is being published by academic publisher Wiley.
Johnson himself is the author of half a dozen best-selling books on subjects ranging from Winston Churchill to the Roman Empire but hasn’t written a book about hacking. It could be an idea for him to pursue after he leaves Number 10. A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the book.
Tottenham Hotspur and England midfielder Eric Dier has started just one Premier League game so far this season for the north London football club. But this gives Dier more time to study.
“I’m doing an Open University course in social science and I’m writing an essay at the moment about the 2011 London riots… I’m at the end of my first year,” Dier says in an interview with David Lammy MP for Amy Raphael’s new book A Game of Two Halves.
Dier adds the title of the essay is: “If the radical perspective on riots is poverty, unemployment and inequality, what is the conservative perspective?”
Dier had not yet joined the club at the time of the 2011 riots, which started in Tottenham. Dier isn’t the first high-profile footballer to embrace uni on the side. Former Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp studied mechanical engineering off-season.
Greed is good
Any lingering doubts that Michael Winterbottom’s new film Greed, starring Steve Coogan and David Mitchell, wasn’t inspired by the turmoil suffered by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group were dispelled at the movie’s London Film Festival premiere last week. Asked who the character of Sir Richard “Greedy” McCreadie is based on, Coogan said: “The short answer is Philip Green.”
“In some ways Philip Green is really someone who is the perfect expression of the market being able to do what it does,” Coogan added.
Writer-director Winterbottom said of his new protagonist’s penchant for throwing celebrity parties: “Richard McCreadie is a fictional character… we just didn’t have enough money to make our party… ostentatious enough to match the real world.” Green didn’t get back to Capital for comment.
A leading asset manager tells Capital he recently went for a coffee with a pal from an alternative investment consulting firm. The asset manager offered to buy the investment consultant a drink.
The consultant declined, on the grounds it could be construed as an inducement and said he would buy his own brew. The asset manager then couldn’t pay for his own coffee as the minimum credit card spend at the establishment was £5 and he lacked cash.
The consultant ended up buying both their drinks. Our caffeinated asset manager fumes: “Can you imagine two Italian financiers worrying about such absurd rules over a few glasses of Chianti?”