Our second Asian adventure this September has been in unseasonably warm and humid Hong Kong. A full report on the Asia Treasury Leaders’ Forum will appear in the Treasurer so here’s just a taster of a few days beside the fragrant harbour. There remains a wonderful contrast between the apparent calm and order of Singapore and the neon frenzy of Hong Kong not least in terms of air quality! But there’s more to Hong Kong than meets the eye. Your correspondent was lucky enough to asked to give a lunchtime lecture to undergraduate students (mostly in finance and business) at
“What do you actually do?” I am often asked. Well here are some notes about last week…a typical week?
What do you actually do?What we do is entirely contingent on what is needed. But broadly speaking, this splits into two categories: dealing with legislators and others on new rules and market practices or keeping members up to date and well informed. Influencing and informing. So the objectives remain but the work changes.
I am glad to report that there are signs that the politicians and regulatory authorities are just beginning to acknowledge that one of the implications of saving the financial systems and making them safer for the future is the knock on dampening down of economic activity in the real economy.
Andy Haldane, Executive Director for financial stability of the Bank of England, in his 2011 Wincott Memorial Lecture* spoke about the causes of the banking crisis and how to reduce the frequency and extent of future crises. As usual from Andy, a well presented historical and economic analysis well worth anyone’s time to read. But, in answer to questions, Andy made another very important comment. He said that “We should start regulating as if the real economy matters.” Hear, hear. Surely full support to that from everyone involved in corporate treasury.