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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Its the economy stupid!

Went to an interesting event this morning, courtesy of Gorkana, at Nomura's headquarters called "Its the economy stupid".

Taking questions and generally discussing the UK and world economy were the following;

Hugh Pym,
Chief Economics Correspondent, BBC
Iain Martin,
Deputy Editor, Wall Street Journal Europe
Neil Hume
Editor, FT Alphaville
Sam Fleming,
Economics Editor, The Times
Michael Wilson,
ex Sky News (Event Chair)

Big discussion topic with some big names in the media industry!

It hasn't escaped people's notice that the media have had an important role to play in the modern economy and the constant flow of news and opinion, has affected market sentiment and consumer confidence.

The overriding theme was we are all in this global economic turbulence together but there is no consensus what to do about it!

To expand on that point Hugh Pym pointed out that the Japanese were saying that Quantitive Easing (QE) was not a panacea and that deflation was the biggest risk to the global economy. Whereas other economists thought QE was "lighting an inflation bonfire" He also mentioned that many large corporates were hoarding cash and thus stunting growth. So it isn't just the banks not lending.

The panel also felt that the US was not showing economic leadership as it had in the past so the sovereign debt crisis was, in part, being fuelled by market fear. This fear mainly due to the fact that, as above, there is no consensus.

Neil Hume of the FT felt that unless countries are prepared to live by Germany's rules then there was a danger of collapse of the Euro. However, as the Euro was mainly a political project then if the political will is there then it can survive.

Interestingly, the panel said that the government were very worried, despite the "banker bashing", about the movement of capital and financial services out of the City towards Asia,
All in all, so much to discuss and so little time. I think that is how many of the politicians feel at the moment as well!

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