Surviving the downturn? Prepared for the upturn?

There are two vital factors about a company today: how it went into the downturn and how it goes into the upturn.

Going into the downturn, the ACT produced a treasurer’s guide. Since the Annual Conference in the spring however, we have been thinking about the upturn.

Who needs the “too big” banks?

In the ACT’s response (June 2009) to the Turner Review on the Global Financial Crisis, we touched on the question of who needs the super-large banks. Perhaps it is large companies. But we had doubts. So, we consulted the ACT Policy and Technical Committee and others, including some members at some of the large companies which might be most affected by the availability or otherwise of the largest financial institutions as well as more widely.

Gloomy? Don’t trust consensus?

Less confidence about the UK economy and expectation of a UK pensions crisis were the almost unanimous view of the excellent ACT Annual Conference in Manchester.

John Humphrys, chaired a fascinating “Question Time” as the last conference session. A very well balanced panel (Paul Boyle, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council, Barbara Cassani, Executive Chairman of Jurys Inn, Trevor Williams, Chief Economist of Lloyds TSB, and Alastair Clark, former Executive Director and Advisor to the Governor, Bank of England).

Lord Turner on the crisis and the regulator’s job

Essential reading for treasurers The crisis, what went wrong, what the regulators need to change?

In any company where there is no banker or regulator or top economist, people turn to the treasurer to help them understand the current financial system crisis and what regulators need to do to prevent a recurrence.