Scurrilous rumours are flooding back into the market as the end of the summer silly season comes to a close.

Yet with so little to talk about because so many have been on holiday the market gossip-mongers have resorted to the sublimely ridiculous.

This week's target: Chris Blackham of Layton Blackham fame. First there was a rumour that the broker was to be bought within eight months, possibly by AXA. Second, was that Blackham himself was making the most of his corporate jollies in preparation for retirement.

Blackham graciously laughed off the whispers, telling Backchat: "I am having a great time, the market is quite fun. Why would I retire?"