Why the Autumn promises so much

David Hellier
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CITY A.M will be taking its customary break next week and will not be publishing again until Tuesday 1 September, after the August Bank Holiday. <br />By then the Ashes will be over, the football season will be well under way and the nights will be drawing in.<br /><br />As far as City A.M is concerned, the autumn will be an exciting time as we approach our 1,000th issue (today&rsquo;s is 961) and there will be no shortage of interesting things to witness and analyse.<br /><br />The political parties will be positioning themselves for the coming election. Each of them has sharply differing views on how the City and its banks should be regulated post the credit crunch and we will be closely following the Tories&rsquo; plans to shake-up City regulation if they are elected, as seems likely.<br /><br />There will be further indications of whether the UK economy is heading out of recession and no doubt further concerns that it may not emerge as quickly or as strongly as we all hope.<br /><br />Yesterday&rsquo;s higher-than-expected borrowing figures mean the debate on public spending will not go away any time soon.<br /><br />There will be new drama certainly. Almost a year ago the financial world was shocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and we are still all living with the consequences.<br /><br />Hopefully we have seen the biggest of the crashes for this downturn but there is no room for complacency amongst regulators and those, like many of our readers, who work in the financial services industry.<br /><br />There must be real fears that the City&rsquo;s main regulator, the Financial Services Authority, which is awaiting abolition under Tory plans, does not cope with all that&rsquo;s thrown at it given its obvious morale problem, first reported in this newspaper a few weeks ago.<br /><br /><strong>SIGNS OF AN UPTURN</strong><br />It is crucial there is no slippage in standards there, given that even when its future was more secure the body made crucial mistakes in the run-up to the collapse of Northern Rock and others.<br /><br />Come the autumn, we&rsquo;ll be looking for signs of an upturn in mergers and acquisitions; shareholder activism will be alive and well; new star signings in the financial services sector will be scrutinised ever more closely for evidence of bonus largesse and all of this &ndash; and more &ndash; will be covered as ever by the team at City A.M.<br /><br />There will be the usual lifestyle features, film, music and restaurant reviews, specialist financial features and our daily update of all the news and views in sport.<br /><br />In the past few months the likes of Justin King at J Sainsbury, British Airways&rsquo; Willie Walsh, Deloitte&rsquo;s John Connolly, Nigel Boardman at Slaughter &amp; May, Heron&rsquo;s Gerald Ronson and Margaret Cole of the FSA have all given interviews to City A.M.<br /><br />We plan to build on this impressive list in the near future.<br /><br />Most important to all this, though, is you the reader. We&rsquo;re constantly searching to improve on what we write about and how we do it and would like to hear from you as often as ever, throughout the autumn and beyond. See you again on 1 September.<br /><br />david.hellier@cityam.com<br /><br /><strong>&bull; Allister Heath is away</strong>