Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Visit to Goldman Sachs

Well, apologies that it has been such an age since I last posted - the three interns have had a couple of weeks break over the Parliamentary Easter recess which was very welcome I must say. A good opportunity for some R&R and to squeeze in a couple of job interviews I found!

Today, all of us, including the Brussels interns, were invited to the London office of Goldman Sachs by Lord Brian Griffiths to attend a forum with himself, Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool, and Peter Sutherland, the Chairman of Goldman Sachs international. We had a very productive morning which featured a series of presentations - the first being an overview of the global economy and its trends and developments over the past few years, which was delivered by one o the many talented GS staff. Then we heard another presentation from a member of the Government Affairs team, about the influences and interactions of the Westminster Village and the Square Mile of the City of London. And finally, it wrapped up with a thoughtful discussion by Lord Griffiths on the place of faith and spirituality in the City, and the challenges that this can present.

We all agreed how valuable and informative this session was - I found it particularly impressive to be in the heart of the GS operation and with such senior figures from the financial world. It was also somewhat of a crash-course in financial affairs and basic economics - I personally find the business section of newspapers very challenging in getting my head around, and although we throw about phrases like "credit crunch" and "global recession" all the time here in politics, sometimes I'd be under a bit of pressure to define exactly what they mean!

Next week we're off to Brussels with Charles for a couple of days, which will include visits around the European Parliament and its associated departments. I personally am very much looking forward to making my maiden voyage out from the newly-restored Victorian masterpiece that is St Pancras International!