Friday, 19 August 2011

Economics? What's That?

To paraphrase a well know advertising campaign 'I thought Mackro was a cash and carry until I discovered Economics!'  That's a finance world joke that is sort of funny. It refers to macro economics which is about the big strategic stuff rather than micro economics which is the homely detail.
There was an event at the new university building in Newport this week put on by a major Bank to give the business world a briefing. I expected a summary of where we are with things, some guidance to the cutting edge thinking of the moment, some tips on areas for special interest and a command of the whole thing better than my own.
Business Finance Guidance
I also thought we have guidance on what this major organ of the UK financial world was doing to contribute. They had a go at that. We had a specialist - a well qualified economist flown down specially from the bank's Head Office to disseminate vital information to the grass roots. But when a question along those lines came up he handed back to the local regional Director.
We had a good summary of the current economic trends and thinking, but no better than I get by listening to Radio 4 and the BBC News.
In short we had a summary of UK economics with nothing innovative to add. There are no inside tips. The bank's central economics unit has no real interest in what the bank is actually doing for its local region it would seem.
Project Merlin - Bank Lending to Small Business
Some figures were given that showed the bank is lending more than anyone else under 'Project Merlin' - the government's initiative to have them lend more to small business. Might be right; not convinced.
Still we all had a nice lunch with a beautiful chocolate dessert. I forgot to note who the caterers were. We also saw the inside of the new Uni building, which is impressive. There was always the chance of bumping into someone useful, as with any networking event. It was good.  

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