There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.
Headlines – Scandal-hit bank chief gets bonus - makes the headlines. Stephen Hester Chief Executive of RBS is to be “handed” a £780,000 bonus according to the Sunday Times. Actually Hester “earned” the bonus in 2010 but agreed to postpone the payment for three years to avoid controversy. What luck! Last week, the bank was fined £390 million for fiddling with LIBOR. [This is the rate we all want to trade within 30 basis points of base rate anyway]. Hester “takes one for the team” would have been my preferred headline. Senior RBS directors have been asked to pay back bonuses earned over the last few years. Hester should lead the way and take what’s earned.
Meanwhile at Barclays, Antony Jenkins, the new CEO is to “slash 2,000 casino jobs” at Barclays Capital. 10% of the division’s 23,000 staff will be “shown the door”, before the Chinese wall is ring fenced and electrified. Jenkins will stop short of the wholesale dismantling of the investment bank, much to the dismay of Mervyn King, the outgoing Bank of England Governor. The casino could account for 50% of earnings by 2015, according to the Sunday Times. Ring fencing the ATMs, a much better play for profit hungry banks.
David Smith, has been reading this week, the OECD report, Mark Carney’s submission to the Treasury Select Committee and the IFS Green Budget. The latter alone runs to over three hundred pages. Difficult to pull together, but “Carney’s no messiah – he needs miracle takeoff, is the headline summation. “If Carney can deliver growth to get the government out of the fiscal mess, he really would be a miracle worker”. Well he would indeed. It’s not really his job anyway. Price stability the bankers remit, the government has responsibility for growth. If the fiscal stance is “brakes on”, an expansive monetary policy will achieve little.
Economics news, this week, news on trade, manufacturing and construction. Plus, latest service sector survey data suggest no triple dip. Check out “The Saturday Economist” for more details. We offer some tips and guidelines to the incoming Governor. Taking responsibility for growth and jobs, is not amongst them.
Back to the day Job – Monday – team meeting in the morning, a series of internal meetings follows.
Tuesday, more work on the Economics presentation and the “Budget for Greater Manchester” event, March and the Business Conference on the 22nd. Some great new speakers joining the line up.
Wednesday – Marketing Manchester Board Meeting in the morning, followed by lunch with Mike Blackburn Chairman of the GM LEP. Great lunch and catch up, I rush to Piccadilly to take the train to Birmingham for a Duff & Phelps Economics Dinner in the evening. Have to leave the dinner at 9:30 to be back inside the M60 perimeter by midnight. Ring fenced and mortified, I thought JLR was a character from Dallas.
Thursday – Brian Sloan, the excellent Chief Economist at the Chamber of Commerce calls in, we later grab a quick lunch with Sarah Forrest, from Begbies. Sarah, the eldest daughter of long standing family friends. In the evening, the hugely successful Made In Manchester Awards at the Midland Hotel. Over four hundred people at this inaugural event for future pro. The success a great tribute to the young professionals organisation and the events team at pro.manchester. More dinners planned for 2014? Watch this space for the inside story!
Friday, early start, the inaugural quarterly economics update sponsored by Duff & Phelps, hosted by RBS Spinningfields. Dr Sloan and I are presenting. Sloan is wearing makeup, allegedly because of some TV stuff in the morning. Good turn out and good feed back from a packed house. The slides are available on line. Later, Sue Ingham, from the Growth Accelerator is in to talk about working with SME club, (now heading for over 3000 members!) Walter Boettcher, Chief Economist and Director at Colliers calls for a quick chat in the afternoon. “Dr Boettcher certainly is impressive” says James Allum of Aviva. I have to agree. Always has an interesting property perspective from Walter..
Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “Change in North Korea”, a glimmer of hope, for the world’s most oppressed people.
In the afternoon, tennis, a promising 3 -1 lead is cut short, as we return to the city. It probably would not have lasted anyway but thought it worth a mention.
Later today, England Ireland a must watch game, rain check for the cinema this week, plus I still have a presentation to ready for the morning.
Hope all is well, more news next week,
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