AS another year draws to a close we at City A.M. have good reason to feel fortunate about the way things turned out in 2010.
Firstly, it was a sensational year for news, both financial and political.
In the financial sphere, there was the takeover of Cadbury by Kraft, which brought all sorts of calls at the end of it for a reform of the City’s takeover rules.
Then there were the deals that did not go ahead, like BHP’s hostile bid for Potash and the Prudential’s bid for AIA.
As we showed by the people we included in the CityJet/City A.M. Power Hundred it was the year that the City truly got back to work after the period of the credit crunch .
Politically, 2010 has been a truly dramatic year, with the general election ending in a stalemate and ultimately a coalition government.
For us, it was a historic occasion since we published our first ever afternoon edition on the day after the election vote, with reporters working through the night here to give readers our insight into the results and what they meant for the City and the financial markets.
Also in 2010 we held our first annual awards ceremony, attended by more than 450 people, at which Lord Coe made a truly inspiring speech about London and the run-up to the Olympic Games in 2012. The event attracted a host of high profile figures from the City and was generally considered a success.
And most recently we have been extending the distribution of City A.M. so that more of our readers get the chance to see the newspaper at the beginning rather than the end of their journeys.
Last, but not least, the newspaper, now in its sixth year, is currently making a profit, thanks to the tremendous support of our advertisers and sponsors. So a big thanks all round, most of all to our readers whom we hope enjoy the best of health over christmas and the New Year.
As we head into 2011 much of the early focus of the financial markets will be on the effects of the public sector cuts on the private sector and the economy as a whole. As a newspaper we don’t believe the economy will take a nosedive, all things being equal. But given that all things are rarely equal, any number of events could derail the success of the austerity programme.
I’ll be looking with interest at the direction the Labour party takes. The present government does not think it needs a Plan B in case its measures fail to grow the economy but it is crucial for Labour that it gets in place an economic Plan that provides the public with an alternative to current policy. Otherwise opponents – and there are many, of course – have nowhere to head but to demonstrations and protest marches (of which there will be plenty).
Observing the paucity of ideas from the opposition now on the economy, it seems hard to believe that for a large part of the party’s 13 years in power it rubbed along with the business community rather well and that for much of that period the UK was a good place to do business in.
Today Ed Miliband’s party looks sidelined, content to watch on as the Lib Dems and Tories fight amongst themselves but as yet offering very little of their own. It’s time to do something about it. If the economy takes a wrong turn now, we could be heading for an election sooner than we think.