Friday 30 April 2010

It's all in the name

Sometimes timing is everything. Yesterday morning I went along to a 'breakfast briefing'. The speaker was Hugh Pym. You may not know that name. But you should. He is the Economics correspondent at the BBC. When I arrived, I asked for the event and was directed towards 'Patrick Keilty's event'...that was confusing, because as far as I was aware he is just a gameshow host and comedian. And if I remember rightly not very good at either. Fortunately it turned out that the reception was just confused...the event was being organised by Patrick Kelly...a man of no consequence, other than he was organising the event.

Hugh Pym was equally not who I expected him to be - in my mind he was short, roundish and heading towards retirement. So when the real Hugh stepped forwards and was a lanky 50 year old, I was slightly non-plussed.

Yesterday, of course, was the morning after the night before...the previous day Greece had been declared a load of Junk, and both Spain and Portugal had been downgraded (presumably to economy class). So we were lucky to have his time. And most enlightening it was too. Essentially he said, don't worry about which party has the best economics policy, because the only difference in terms of spending plans is £6 billion. That might seem a lot to the likes of you and me, but when we're sitting on a £trillion deficit, the odd £6 billion doesn't make any difference one way or t'other. So throw your vote at one party or the other..or indeed the other one, but do it because you like the colour of their tie rather than the slant of their economic policy. Whichever party is voted in, it is the boy and his generation that will be paying off our I say "Thanks" to the boy.

I wanted to ask a question, but I was in a room full of important people with MBAs and thought I might be asking a dumb one, so just held my fire...but now I wish I hadn't. I wanted to know why the ratings agencies - Standard & Poor, etc are so highly regarded...after all it was my understanding that it was they that fed the property boom and bust by giving AAA ratings to these rather strange 'Collateral Debt Obligations' which have brought the world economy to its knees. Effectively iot was their word that gave the bankers a head of steam to bring misery and despair on us all. Anyway, when I returned to the office, Robert Peston had written something about it here

So another lesson learned...'Just Do It'

I sat next to a man from Goldman Sachs...and surprisingly he didn't seem that avaricious...but who knows, appearances can be deceptive.

Anyway, Hugh Pym was very good indeed. And I'm glad I know who he is now. Here's a picture of him for good measure...I expect the copyright is owned by the Beeb