There’s no birthday party like a Stock Exchange opening party

OPENING the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a novel way to mark a milestone birthday, but that is what Redmayne-Bentley’s senior partner Keith Loudon did yesterday to mark his 80th birthday.

Loudon was joined in the early morning celebrations by investment pals Winterflood chairman Brian Winterflood, Chartered Institute of Securities managing director Ruth Martin, Apcims chief executive Tim May and LSE boss Alexander Justham.

However, it wasn’t a birthday celebration in quite the traditional sense: “It was a little too early for cake,” Loudon told The Capitalist.

The world of economic forecasting is a perilous one. Wise City heads have been known to suggest replacing the word “forecast” with “guess” when reading through the latest expert predictions. Yet two bold economists are confident enough in their calculations to slam a £1,000 bet on who is right over the direction of UK Plc. Andrew Lilico of Europe Economics and Jonathan Portes of Niesr have agreed to put their money where their mouths are. So what’s the bet? Well, Lilico reckons that if GDP this year is up two per cent or more, then consumer price index inflation will rise more than five per cent at some point before the end of the second quarter of 2015. Portes thinks it won’t. And the fastidious pair have agreed that the size of the bet will rise with inflation. “Don’t tell my wife...” tweeted Lilico last night.

The streets of the capital were overrun with lawyers on Monday – 7,000 of them to be precise. And they weren’t actually running. The reason for the giant gathering of legal minds was a 10k sponsored walk around some of London’s most famous legal landmarks like the Royal Courts of Justice, the Law Society and Middle Temple. The lycra-clad lawyers raised funds – around £500,000 – for charities which provide free legal advice in London.