MERVYN King, the seasoned governor of the Bank of England, may have been in the City for longer than he (and many of his contemporaries) would care to remember, but it appears he’s still got a lot to learn in the art of PR.
It was off to a fundraising and networking party at the end of last week in support of learning disability charity Norwood – where guest speakers wrestling with the hot potatoes of the day included David Kyte, founder of derivatives broker the Kyte Group; entrepreneur Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners; and Lloyd Dorfman, founder of the Travelex Group.
The discussion skipped blithely over everything from the economy to the Olympics, until the panel set about attacking last week’s Budget – when Dorfman neatly dropped his pal Mervyn King into the smelly stuff.
“By way of quirky coincidence, I was having lunch on Wednesday with the governor of the Bank of England,” Dorfman told the audience. “I asked him if he was concerned about the Budget that was going on at the moment, and he said, ‘not really’. Then we carried on talking about things that we were more concerned about…”
Chancellor Alistair Darling is clearly made of impressionable stuff.
Whump! Onto The Capitalist’s desk zooms the latest literary offering from CNBC’s “Money Honey”, Maria Bartiromo. The tome, “The 10 Laws of Enduring Success”, includes a nugget of wisdom from Bartiromo on the importance of having humility and being able to laugh at oneself.
“There’s a lot of silliness about me on the web, and I get a kick out of it,” insists Bartiromo – citing the “Maria Bartiromo Hairdex” to prove it.
“This very clever guy devised a method of evaluating the stock market based on my cowlicks,” she says. “I had my biggest laugh of the day.”
Speaking of politics, City grandee Stuart Wheeler kicked off his bid to become an MP yesterday with the official launch of his Trust Party.
Seventy-five-year-old Wheeler – who founded spread betting firm IG Group in 1974 – seemed quite perky yesterday when chirping about his new party, which is entirely focused on cleaning up the Commons after the long-running expenses scandal.
Perky, that is, on everything apart from the diary clash between his launch and the Tories’ big-hitting National Insurance announcement.
“Of course, this is the time the Conservatives decide to host a major press affair,” grumbled Wheeler, who himself once gained notoriety for a £5m donation to the Tory party before switching his allegiances last year. “They’re obviously extremely scared of the influence of my new party…”
Does anyone want to break it to the poor chap?