Thursday, 10 March 2011

Interns in the City Day 2: Economic explanations with JP Morgan, and sharing stories with Ruth Kelly

Day two began with a brisk walk to JP Morgan in the City of London for a series of presentations. If the flavour of the previous day had been living your faith in the workplace, today was exploring and understanding how London works and learning about the economic crisis.

Malcolm Barr gave the first presentation which was about the UK following the Economic Crisis. I found this talk really helpful as we constantly are told what to think about the current economic climate by the media, but too often the facts are confusing and just make my head spin! Malcolm made the situation easy to understand, explaining the finer details for the 'economic novices' like myself. 

Then it was over to Guidhall, which houses the City of London Corporation to meet Tony, Head of Public Relations. With a huge map behind the meeting room table we were able to see the breadth of London, and all the jobs the authorities do to keep the city going, as well as learning the difference between the City - big C, with the city - small c! I've not been able to visit a park without checking who runs it since!

After an interesting talk on the history of London in a nutshell from Tony, it was back to JP Morgan for a presentation by Sam Panda on the relationship between the City and the Regulators. Sam works in the Government Relations department so he works closely with MPs informing them about how the City and banks work to inform their decision making. His job proved interesting to the interns placed in parliament as well as those interested in policy and influencing MPs' opinions.

To end the day it was a quick tube ride to St James' Street, stopping for a nice lunch with the gang before meeting Rt Hon. Ruth Kelly. Now Head of Client Experience, Wealth and External Wholesale for HSBC (say that more than once!) she spoke about her time in the Cabinet, the problem of conscience in parliament and how she made decisions when it posed a challenge to her career and faith. Ruth shared her experiences with us comparing her experiences of Tony Blair in comparison to Gordon Brown and how things are changing in parliament today.

After over-running on most of our talks we'd soon reached the end of day two in the City. Tomorrow we meet with Bill Moyes, the  former Executive Chairman of quango Monitor, the NHS regulator and Francis Campbell, former ambassador to the Holy See. Can't wait!

Until then!

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