"We will do our best to see if the taxpayers' money can be returned, but the bank was in a terrible mess”

Business quote of the day.

"We will do our best to see if the taxpayers' money can be returned, but the bank was in a terrible mess”

Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of RBS, tells ITV's Daybreak he did not know if taxpayers would ever get back the money used to rescue the bank. RBS reported losses of £5.2bn this morning.

Photograph: Getty Images

Helen Roxburgh is the online editor of Economia

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Space Oddity? Dr David Bowie is treating former astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Ground control to major coincidence.

The 86-year-old former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin has been evacuated from the South Pole to hospital in New Zealand. Your mole thought this was yet another piece of dismal 2016 news, before the silver lining popped up on Twitter. Aldrin’s manager Christina Korp sent a thrilling message about her client’s treatment:

Yes, the real-life “Starman” is going to be treated by a doctor who shares his name with the late pop icon who wrote “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars?”, “Ziggy Stardust” and “Starman”, among many other odes to space.

In fact, Bowie’s “Space Oddity” hit about ground control losing contact with the fictional astronaut Major Tom was released in 1969, a few days before Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon. This mole’s whiskers are quivering at the poignancy.

I'm a mole, innit.