CITY FIGHTS FOR SEATS AT KEYNES VS HAYEK

 
Elizabeth Fournier
FORGET silk shorts, gum shields and sweatbands, the only kit needed for last night’s big fight in the City was a thinking hat firmly on your head and a grasp of twentieth century economic theory.

At “Keynes vs Hayek”, the latest in a series of public debates hosted by the London School of Economics, some of the country’s brightest minds gathered to thrash out the theories of two of modernity’s greatest economic thinkers – and try to work out which of their theses might provide the best route to dig our current economies out of messy financial straits.

Chaired by Newsnight’s Paul Mason, the discussion saw professor George Selgin and Oliver Wyman’s head of research Dr Jamie Whyte sat alongside ex-Bank of England economist Duncan Weldon and Lord Skidelsky to argue their cases.

Skidelsky dealt a low blow to devotees of the Austrian Nobel prize winner early on, claiming “Hayekians are not exactly thick on the ground ... and they have no influence on policy ... nothing to contribute”.

But Selgin was quick off the mark with a defensive parry, telling the audience that “The world got drunk on easy money, and yet Hayekians are being blamed for having nothing for the hangover.”

Heavy stuff for a Tuesday night indeed, but that was no deterrence to the gathered masses, as The Capitalist hears demand was so high for a seat that the LSE had to provide an overflow room for the eager audience. In the vote at the end of the night, the Hayekians triumphed.

HUNTING FOR THE BEST
WITH the six month review of Lord Davies’ report on women on executive boards fast approaching, a group of leading headhunting firms have made sure they stay ahead of the loop by issuing a voluntary code of conduct to guarantee that at least 30 per cent of the candidates they put forward for boardroom roles are female.

The CBI welcomed the move, with chief policy director Katja Hall quoted as saying: “Chairmen really need to drive this process.” Too true, Katja, but shouldn’t that be chairpeople?

A REWARDING JOB
IF more encouragement were needed for women to put their best foot forward, then eager participants need look no further than the Women in the City awards, which has launched a drive to find its “2011 Woman of Achievement”.

The organisation has been running the award since 2007, and looks for nominees, who, as well as fulfilling a demanding day job, encourage the progress of professional women.

Last year’s winner, Pam Jackson of PricewaterhouseCoopers (pictured below), ticks all the relevant boxes – a partner at the firm, she also set up the female partner and director network within PwC. Applications open today, and the winner will be announced on 25 November.

TOILET HUMOUR
AMID scary global economic conditions and increasingly tough requirements from financial authorities, banks need to be careful to avoid wasteful spending.

Kudos, then, to the management at Anglo-Romanian Bank, who launched a – ahem -- crackdown on damage to their office’s toilet seats. The very polite notice (pictured above), spotted at Anglo-Romanian’s headquarters by one of The Capitalist’s many emissaries earlier this year, urges male employees not to stand on the toilet seats. They break easily, you see. If you stand on them.