It can't be easy being the boss of a housebuilder at the moment. The incessant flow of bad news must take its toll.

But while some are proving they have the hides of elephants, others appear to be wilting under the pressure.

If rumours in the square mile are to be believed, that is.

The story goes that one chief exec, who shall remain nameless for legal reasons, recently met with a group of hedge fund managers. Not a nice prospect at the best of times, of course.

Alarmingly, when they queried his sales figures, the meeting had to be called to an abrupt end because he burst into tears.