Weekend starts today for staff of 115 companies Forget about the volatile market and billion-dollar bank bailouts, for today is a time to relax. It is Work-Life Balance Day in Hong Kong, and 115 companies have signed up to take part in a series of initiatives. They include shutting up shop before 7pm, giving staff an hour off to do some exercise, providing healthy snacks, encouraging staff to take children or family members on a tour of the office and holding a seminar to discuss work-life balance. The first-time event could not have come at a better time and it is not surprising that financial firms such as American International Assurance, Bank of America Corp, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered are joining in. We have also heard that Barclays Capital is bringing in masseuses to do neck massages, the British Council is holding a tai chi class and Cisco Systems is encouraging all staff to work from home today. But the luckiest employees are those at soft-drinks retailer PepsiCo, who will stop work at 12.45pm for a group exercise at a sports stadium before enjoying an evening barbecue. Work-Life Balance Day is the brainchild of Community Business, a non-profit organisation which says it is on a 'mission to lead, inspire and support businesses to continually improve their positive impact on people and communities'. We'll drink to that ... fruit juice, of course. For they knew what they did There are more civilised ways to express anger than throwing bananas at the Chief Executive. Modern Beauty Salon chairman Joyce Tsang Yue has set up a blog and published her own magazine edition to air her case against Goldman Sachs for selling her the notorious 'accumulator'. She is suing the US bank for HK$60 million. The magazine is full of press reports about her claims that a former Goldman employee who visited her chain for beauty treatments traded the risky derivatives without her permission through her accounts. But it comes with a religious spin. She calls on Christians to be wary of banks and to pray for the people who were involved in her case. However, there is no mention of forgiveness or turning the other cheek. StanChart's dynamic duo Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands is being credited with saving Britain, nay the world, from financial meltdown. The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Sands (below) and StanChart finance director Richard Meddings were the architects of the GBP37 billion (HK$494 billion) banking bailout plan unveiled by the British government this week that is being copied around the world. The duo made a presentation to British Treasury officials and then drafted a paper that became the blueprint for the bailout, the paper said. Mr Sands worked in Hong Kong when he was with management consultancy McKinsey. Enlightened corporates A record 45 companies came out to support the market yesterday as the Hang Seng Index flirted with the 15,000 level. They included blue chips Swire Pacific, which has bought HK$288 million worth of its own shares so far this month, and Sino Land, HK$76 million. The most consistent has been Shun Tak Holdings, which has bought back shares for the past 11 trading days, topping Chinese Estates Holdings' nine-day spree. Other property companies involved have been Soho China, Shimao Property Holdings, Lippo Group and Lippo China Resources. Buy in a panic, sell during euphoria. Heard at the bank Meltdown joke of the day: A masked man pointing a gun at a bank cashier says: 'I don't want any money ... I just want you to start lending to each other.'