The Dutch financial services company ING that in 1995 bought Barings after Nic Leeson brought it to its knees, is to break up its insurance and banking businesses and raise up to $11.3 billion in a stock issue. The money will be used to repay the Dutch government loan it received in October 2008, and it will save the group $1.5 billion in interest that would accrue by end of January 2010. The venerable group has chosen to split its two main businesses and continue as, hopefully, a much leaner and meaner player. It currently covers 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries, and has to pay salaries every month to a workforce of more than 125,000 - not a small task.Read more: The New York Times
Terry Pratchett forged his own sword from iron and meteorites purely for the occasion of the awarding of his knighthood.