We’re looking forward to our next Chartwell Breakfast Club discussion at the Royal Automobile Club on the future of the City (Tuesday 18th September). We’ve just been talking through the format and focus with Nigel and Anthony. Areas they are likely to focus on include what needs to happen to the big banks, how does the City regain the trust of British voters and tax payers, and – of course – the Square Mile’s relationship with the Eurozone and the potential impact of new Brussels regulations. Expect a robust and expert discussion, and a few fireworks.
It was great to have Anthony Hilton of the Evening Standard breeze in for a coffee yesterday. In contrast to most, he is much more of glass-half-full man on the UK economy.
In particular, he doesn’t buy the notion that the UK will be facing an unprecedented strain on its economy due to an ageing population. If you look at the projections for the ratio of workers to non-workers in 2040, it is roughly the same as in the 1960s. The difference in 1960 was of course that the non-workers were mainly young children, not the elderly. The great furor about the aging population, then, is actually more of a political/cultural problem than an economic one: we don’t mind paying for kids, but we dislike paying for the elderly.