The power of the press never ceases to amaze Backchat. A conversation in Germany about Allianz's desire to grow by acquisition in the UK – in its own time – led to the obvious question about how much it could afford.

And it doesn't take a mathemetician to work out that Allianz, with its US stock market listing, can afford to buy the likes of CGNU with its small change, so there was no reason why the company should deny it. And so it was reported in Insurance Times on last week but with the clear statement that no deals were in the pipeline.

By Friday, the London Evening Standard was reporting the Allianz takeover of CGNU almost as a certainty and by Saturday the papers were full of the rises in share prices of the UK's insurance stock as takeover speculation took hold.

Hurrah for the fourth estate.