Category Archives: Broad Street Ward

“Bright Lights, Open Minds, Robust Community”

From Archives To Modern Lives – Deep In The King’s College Scientific Archives

From Archives to Modern Lives: Frontiers of Trade and Technology
A survey of past and present innovation in association with King’s College London Archives

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
15:00 through dinner

Surprisingly for some, London is, and almost always has been, a science city.  From the Gresham College days of the Tudor ‘New Learning’, Francis Bacon, the foundation of the Royal Society and on to the Industrial Revolution, genetics and even ‘fintech’, London has been at least as much about science & technology as it has been about trade & finance.

The main event, from 15:00 to 17:30, will consist of fully-illustrated presentations by six distinguished speakers, each at the very top of his or her own area of expertise. They will be referencing key objects of lasting scientific importance from King’s College London and Sir Brian May is supporting the event, with a special ‘hands on’ session at 13:00 for early bookers who want more, including handling the original DNA photo, “Photo 51”.

Tickets are priced at £95 per head which includes the afternoon talks, a drinks reception with canapes and a three-course dinner with wines.  There is no extra charge for the ‘hands-on’ viewing of the artefacts at 13:00.  If you just want the talks, the price is £50.  The reception and dinner will be held on the eighth floor of Bush House in Aldwych (a building recently taken over by KCL, previously occupied by the BBC).  Bringing along young people is particularly encouraged, and feel free to encourage prospective members to come too.  Bookings here for World Traders – http://oldsite.world-traders.org/members/events_details.php?event_id=174 or contact Alexandra_Karathodorou@zyen.com.

Wheatstone’s Cryptographs and Cipher

More details:

The main event, from 15:00 to 17:30, will consist of fully-illustrated presentations by six distinguished speakers, each at the very top of his or her own area of expertise. They will be referencing key objects of lasting scientific importance from King’s College London Archives (see below).  Some of the speakers:

  • Professor Mischa Dohler is Chair Professor in Wireless Communications at KCL.He speaks regularly at international communications conferences and his work appears regularly in print and voice media.He was KCL media personality of the year in 2014.
  • Professor David Edgerton is a historian who has written books on Technology and Global History, including weaponry in the Second World War.He led the move of the Centre for Science, Technology and Medicine to the Department of History at KCL.
  • Denis Pellerin is an associate of Brian May, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist.They collaborated in research into Victorian 3D photography and the exhibition “The Poor Man’s Picture Gallery” shown at Tate Britain.A copy of Brian May’s book “Queen in 3D” will be available as a raffle prize at the dinner.

All speakers will be available for informal questions and discussion at the following drinks reception and at dinner.  The programme is as follows:

15:00 for 15:15      Reception, 1st Floor, Bush House, 101 (Auditorium)

15:15 – 15:30          Welcome
Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal King’s College London
                               Introduction
Dr Jessica Borge

15:30 – 16:15         Computer Code
Artefact:                  Wheatstone’s Cryptographs and Cipher Post/ Telegraph TBC
Dr Jamie Barras
Professor Mischa Dohler

16:15 – 17:00          Life Code
Artefact:                   Photograph 51 TBC
Professor David Edgerton
Professor Karen Steel

17:00 – 17:45          Visual Code
Artefact:                   Wheatstone’s Stereoscope TBC
Denis Pellerin
Professor Reza Razavi

17:45 – 18:00          Concluding Remarks
Dr Geoff Browell

18:00 – 19:00          Drinks, 8th Floor, Bush House (South)

19:00 – 21:30          Dinner, 8th Floor, Bush House (North)
Guest Speaker: Ariane Koek

Master Of The World! … Traders…

What an honour, and a delight!  I was so pleased to be installed as Master of the World Traders on Wednesday, 25 October.

The Installation Dinner was a significant event for Elisabeth, my daughters Maxine and Xenia, our friends, and me.  The Company assembled a glittering array of guests, expertly marshalled by our Clerk and Beadles into a warm combination of ceremony and celebration.  At the ceremonial court we thanked Robert and Barbara for their hard work and most successful year, admitted 11 freemen and 5 liverymen, taking the Company over 300 members.  We awarded our first Honorary Liveryman of the Company to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, who was our Tacitus Lecturer in 2015.  We dined, basking  in wonderful music by CLS Close Harmony, later hearing Baroness Scotland’s thoughts on trade and the Commonwealth.  As the Germans might say, “sehr gemütlich”!

My dear friend, Immediate Past Master, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, performing the installation ceremony.

The text of my Toast To The Guests:

Master, Wardens, High Commissioner, My Lords, Aldermen, Ladies and Gentlemen.  This wonderful evening in Sir David Lewis’ and my Aldermanic Ward of Broad Street, next to Austin Friars and the Dutch Church, means so very much to Elisabeth and me, for it encompasses past, present, and future, friends and family.  Our feelings tonight are the subject of so many songs, from Karen Carpenter to one of my daughter’s favourites, Imagine Dragons, “We’re on top of the world”.

In 2006 past Master Jack Wigglesworth asked me to fill the spot Baroness Scotland had tonight with her insightful comments on the Commonwealth and Trade.  It was in this very Drapers’ Hall that he and Carlotta turned up the volume on their own CD and press-ganged me into the Company.  We’ve all had the honour of watching our Company grow under the stewardship of ten masters since, till this year we surpassed 300 members today under the direction of Michael Shapiro.  Our immediate immediate past Master, Wendy Hyde, invigorated our City connections.  The immediate past Master, Robert Woodthorpe Browne and his wife Barbara connected us with the varied and fascinating markets of London.

Baroness Partricia Scotland QC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, receiving her Honorary Freedom of the Livery

For me, the present is coming to grips with being Master.  This City is full of Ironmongers, Fishmongers, Costermongers, Cheesemongers, and even Fearmongers.  What is Master of the World Traders?  Perhaps we should be the WorldMongers or GlobeMongers.  Around the same year that I was doing that talk for Jack, one of my daughters had to speak at school about her parents’ professions.  Did she want to talk about Daddy the scientist, the accountant, securities professional, or computer expert?  Certainly not Daddy the management consultant.  Who could ever explain that?  No, she chose the easy option and belted out to the entire class at full volume, “My Daddy is a World Trader”.

Now that I’m Master, I hope to explain our Company to everyone.  Wouldn’t it be nice to fulfil David Bowie’s lyrics – “You’re face to face, With the man who sold the world”.  I think my catchphrase might be “Psssst.  Hey Buddy, want to buy a planet?”

But the future is a tough sell these days.  We have creaking constitutions, Brexit, America First, WTO problems, let alone North Korean missiles, nuclear proliferation, hurricanes, and pandemic bugs.  Strangely, there are people who try to put a value on Earth.  $3,000 trillion is one number.  $5 quadrillion another.  Could we find some other species to sell it to and get thrown into the vacuum of space with huge wads of cash?  Could we use the proceeds to buy a slightly more upmarket planet with even nicer fjords in a better neighbourhood?  No, we need to succeed with what we have.  Ian Harris and I wrote a book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, pointing out that our core challenge as a species is “To live successfully with each other in a shrinking planet”.  Technology is essential to that hopeful success and thus our theme this year is “Trade & Technology”.

Mankind uses tools to control our environment, our planet, and our aspirations for our universe.  Technology is our distinguishing feature.  But it’s not all progress.  Douglas Adams notes: “Technology is a word that describes something that doesn’t work yet.”  “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.  How do you recognize something that is still technology?  A good clue is if it comes with a manual.”  As Tears & Fears sang, “Nothing ever lasts forever, Everybody wants to rule the world”.

Before you should be a small gift from Elisabeth and me – technology that should help you get “a detailed grip on the big picture”, or perhaps a “big picture grip on the details”.  It’s a lens cloth or ‘screen wiper’ to help you see technology more clearly.  Hopefully it’s still held together by a humble clothes-pin.  In so many ways, technology is about taking back control from the environment, for clothes-pins that’s control of the wind.  Jérémie Victor Opdebec sneakily took out a patent for the dolly peg in 1809.  Two guys from Vermont blew that old tech apart.  In 1853 David M Smith’s “new and useful or improved…spring clamp for clothes lines” became the modern articulated peg, somewhat anthropomorphic and erotic according to the Economist, in harmonious opposition “the two longer legs may be moved toward each other and at the same time move the shorter ones apart”.

As a Professor, tonight I have to ask you an examination question about installations – How many World Traders does it take to install a light bulb?  The Answer: None, Adam Smith’s invisible hand will do it all.  Unfortunately the joke’s wrong, free markets need help.  If ever a year cried out for World Traders, it might be this.  Just the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next April and our Brexit uncertainties place trade & technology in the forefront of the nation’s future.

All liveries are committed to civic commerce, community, and charity based around fellowship.  So what are World Traders going to do in 2017 and 2018?

Our theme is “Motivate, Create, Celebrate”.  On commerce, we respond to members who asked for more intellectual content about trade, going right back to our founding by Peter Drew in St Katharine’s Dock.

  • Trade has been as much science as finance. You must book 15 November– “From Archives to Modern Lives: Frontiers of Trade and Technology”.  You’ll have a chance to hold Photo 51, the original DNA image, and celebrate London technology from Thomas Gresham’s New Learning to the Royal Society and the modern era at Kings College.
  • On 21 March we debate “Technology & Trade In The Commonwealth”, with the post-graduates at Eric Tracey’s Goodenough College, co-hosted by the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council.
  • On 22 February Dr Nathan Myhrvold delivers our Tacitus Lecture for Nick Mayhew, Jan Dawson, and the team. The renowned and controversial scientist, founder of Microsoft Research, and now founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures with over 95,000 patents and strong views on patent trolling and geo-engineering is also an extreme cuisine scientific foodie colleague of Heston Blumenthal.
  • We are commissioning a research publication on the value of smart ledgers to world trade, are working with an ISO group on a qualification for World Trade, and will have number of other events looking in on the natural, life, formal, and applied sciences & technologies of our City.

On community, our Learned Clerk, Gaye Duffy, will nimbly execute a complex series of traditional events, but we want to be an even more tech savvy Company.  Our Communications Committee, led by Zoë Buckingham, has already developed a member-led website, will soon implement a new membership system, and also deploy charity and events systems inclusive of non-members.  We shall experiment more with social media and online meeting technology and produce a short World Traders’ video.  Our overseas trip this year will be to Dublin where the Irish government and the Industrial Development Authority are hosting us at Iveagh House, we’ll stay at Trinity College Dublin, one of my alma maters, and we’ll participate in Bloomsday, the annual celebration of Joyce’s Ulysses.  Our Education Committee under Sue Algeo is educating us at Gresham College events.

On charity, perhaps in anticipation of our Dublin Trip, Simon Maddox, the Events Committee, and the Court call on all members to support our attempt to break a Guinness World Record – “The Most Nationalities In A Simultaneous Popular Music Sing-along”.  Our attempt is scheduled for 16:00 on Monday, 27 November 2017 at St Lawrence Jewry Church, Guildhall Yard, just before the grand opening of the British Red Cross Christmas Market at Guildhall.  The challenge song is John Lennon’s “Imagine”, along with a Christmas Carol and a ‘trade song’ (suggestions welcomed). London Business School set the last record in 2016 with 72 nationalities; we need 101 for obvious reasons.  The proceeds go to the Red Cross, St Lawrence, and our charitable trust.

One of my favourite comedians, the surreal Steve Wright, said, “It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it.”  Robert and Barbara painted a magnificent world in their year.  Elisabeth and I can’t top that, but perhaps we can paint a tech perspective on trade.  One thing I’ve learned about our Company over the years comes from Take That – “If you stay by our sides, we can rule the world.”

Tradereaps economic benefits from specialisation and comparative advantage, creates prosperity, distributes success and wealth, and collectively enriches all of our societies and communities.  Trust underpins all trade and investment, firmly based on the City of London’s motto, “Meum Fidem, Meum Pactum” (“my word is my bond”).

As I said, all liveries are committed to civic community, commerce and charity based around fellowship.  Our fellowship is cemented by having our friends over as guests.

I ask the Company and Guests to rise together and drink the Company’s toast inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address of 1801, “COMMERCE AND HONEST FRIENDSHIP WITH ALL.”

11 new freemen and 5 new liverymen take us over 300 members.

May I thank one and all most sincerely for your immense support.  I had some big trepidations, possibly only surpassed at a certain ceremony with Elisabeth some two decades back, but wound up enjoying the evening enormously and being so proud of our Company.

London Forever! Reality Or Rhetoric?

The Financial Services Group of Livery Companies asked me to provide an inaugural FSG Lecture in memory of its Founding Convenor, Jeremy Goford, Past Master Actuary“London Forever! Reality or Rhetoric?”  I was pleased to deliver it on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at
Mercers’ Hall, London.Though I met him late in life throiugh the livery movement, Jeremy and I enjoyed many conversations and disputations on the auditing, accounting, and actuarial professions, especially their use of numbers. Jeremy’s love of our City was palpable.  I was delighted that the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies chose to honour his memory with this inaugural lecture,  While you can read the full transcript, with slides – Jeremy Goford Memorial Lecture – London Forever – Reality or Rhetoric 2017.09.20 v1.3

a summary was published in Fintech Finance on 25 September, reproduced below:

London Forever! Reality Or Rhetoric?

This month, Z/Yen Group, published the 22nd edition of the Global Financial Centres Index.  GFCI 22 showed almost all major financial centres following the downward lurch of London and New York in GFCI 21.  In the top 20, only Frankfurt rose, quite significantly due to many London bank announcements of headquarter moves.

Finance only exists to support the ‘real economy’ of commerce and trade.  This telling tumble among financial centres is due to fears over trade, not finance.  ‘America First’, isolationist rhetoric damages perceptions of future US trade, while Brexit rhetoric harms perceptions of UK and European trade.

With so much changing, it is right to ask whether London will forever be the premier global centre for professional, business, and financial services.  Financial centres do rise and fall, from Amsterdam to Izmir to Zanzibar.  The 1375 Catalan Atlas of the known world by Abraham Cresques of Mallorca has an inscription: “This lord is Musa Mali .., so abundant is the gold which is found in his country that he is the richest and most noble king in all the land.”  Musa hailed from Timbuktu in today’s Mali.

London’s five centuries of success are due to a sustained confluence of several factors, the ‘accidental’ ones being maritime location, early infrastructure, Continental wars, and the rise of the USA over the past century.  Our index comprises well over 100 ‘intentional’ factors, but I would emphasise the business environment, a trading culture, and the rule of law.   However, people like simple answers, not statistics. So just two things, structural intensity and fair treatment.

All cities are intense, but structural intensity is special to the City of London.  With only 9,000 residents and 450,000 commuting workers, it’s a 98% chance anyone you meet on the street is working.  And Crossrail’s success will raise that chance to 99%.  A temperate climate, twisting alleyways, and numerous drinking places ensured that from the time of the Tudors financial workers met each other frequently.  From pubs to coffee shops to Americano & Cappucino networking centres, supplemented by air transport and IT.

While the UK’s £61 billion trade surplus from financial services is exported via electronic pipes, deals need face-to-face trust to start, and often to complete.  We need to keep raising that intensity of contact as the City of London Corporation is doing by planning for significantly more pedestrians.  Video-conferencing supplements deals, but we still need to meet, often unplanned.

The belief that all comers will be treated fairly has been a London success factor since the 1290 mistake of expelling the Jews.  London’s subsequent welcoming history needs no recounting, from Lombards of old to welcoming back the Jews in 1655 to today’s Syrians.  All were increasingly treated with the same commercial rights as Englishmen.  Rule of law is crucial, but long before anyone goes near a court, any nation that wishes to prosper must trade from an open and competitive environment.  Competition needs a well-educated populace with a state sector preventing cartels, barriers-to-entry, information asymmetries, and agency problems, while not crowding-out markets.

If we get our own house in order, trade will come.  Brexit doesn’t change the basics.  You can’t be an international centre without international people.  Successful people want to live in successful places.  Successful places are cosmopolitan.  Reputation is vital: 20 years to build and five minutes to ruin.  We have problems certainly.  If Britain is open for business, try opening a bank account.

We have problems certainly.  If Britain is open for business, try opening a bank account.  With or without Brexit, we need to stimulate investment in quality education and training, health, infrastructure, broadband; sort out the airports (plural), make the nation as ‘visa less’ to get to as possible, make financial account-opening a one minute process, create a competitive housing market, simplify the tax system, and so on.  Brexit adds the complexity of ‘transition’ being woefully unclear, ‘trade’ structures breaking down, and welcoming ‘talent’ uncertain.  So we need swift decisions on timing, on terms-of-trade, and talent, for example stop prevaricating on EU nationals’ and students’ status.

Our reality must rise to meet our rhetoric, but it was ever thus.  In the history of London we see the truth of Aldous Huxley’s comment, “The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”  Making London a great place to live solves most problems.  We need to be honest about our faults and not let false rhetoric impede fixing them.  We are deficient in some areas, but not desperate; in danger of having our Emperor’s clothes disrobed, but with time to knit some new garments.

We’ve been being told for well over a year what we supposedly voted for in a non-binding referendum.  Whatever, the vote was certainly a vote for change.  Quality guru W Edwards Deming sets a low bar for the lazy: “It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  I am sceptical about claims that we businesspeople will find fabulous fortunes hitherto overlooked in far-flung foreign lands, but I am very positive the closest opportunity is change for the better at home, toward improved structural intensity and fair competition.  Londoners are certainly not lazy.

Trade reaps economic benefits from specialisation and comparative advantage.  Trade creates prosperity, shares success, and enriches our environment.  Trust holds all trade relationships together.  The clearest sign of trust is that people want to live and work in London and the UK.  If we keep that, we keep everything, including the top spot a century from now in Global Financial Centres Index 222.

British Red Cross Christmas Market @ Guildhall, 27 & 28 November 2017

Every other year the City of London hosts the British Red Cross Christmas Market at Guildhall. For 2017, the Guildhall Christmas Market will take place on Monday & Tuesday, 27 & 28 November.  Monday is a gala preview evening with a Royal visit.  It costs £40.  The market is open to the public Tuesday from 10.30 to 20:00pm. Tickets are just £5 and include a complimentary glass of wine.

This unmissable shopping experience will feature over 100 retailers, live music, and fun events. Be sure to pop into the indoor food market, outdoor German market, affordable art market, designer pop-up shop with unrivalled discounts, plus food and drinks workshops and tasting sessions.

This year it’s Elisabeth and my turn to co-chair the event.  We are actively looking for sponsors of all kinds, and the sponsorship package ideas are here – Christmas Market 2017 – sponsorship.  For example, you can:

  • be a Headline Sponsor (great association for large corporates), a Royal Reception Sponsor, a drinks sponsor, a Weihnachtsmarkt Sponsor (great for German or Austrian firms), a Foodiefest Sponsor (for catering and related trades);
  • donate an ‘experience’ such as a tour or work experience, or objects of value to the Silent Auction;
  • donate art to the Affordable Art Market;
  • or give a donation to help the British Red Cross.

BRC Christmas Market 2017

 

Whether you need to do your Christmas shopping, fancy enjoying a gluhwein or want find a designer bargain, make sure you visit this exciting Christmas Market, based in the heart of the City of London.  A Weihnachts Market in Guildhall Yard will also be open to spectators during the evening, where they can witness a spectacular demonstration from the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers.BRC photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information

Date: 27 November 2017 to 28 November 2017

Preview Evening: 27 November 2017: £40 (Includes re-entry on 28 November)

Public day: 28 November 2017: £5 (Entry is free after 5pm)

Add ons on the Public day:

2 course set Christmas Lunch 12.00 – 2.30 £20

Champagne afternoon tea 3.30 – 5.30 £20

Workshops £5 entry on the day

Tickets will go on sale from September 2017 

Address: Guildhall, Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HH

Contact: Laura Deacon

Telephone: 0207 877 7606

Email: ldeacon@redcross.org.uk

Hartley? Hartley? Who The Heck Is Hartley?

I was delighted to be asked to give a ‘vote of thanks’ to my dear friend Archie Galloway, a former Common Councilman for Broad Street Ward:

“David Hartley – Arsonist By Appointment”

Vote Of Thanks To Historian Archie Galloway

Guildhall Historical Association, Guildhall, Monday, 9 January 2017

Chairman, fellow historians,

To paraphrase Historian Galloway, the first time I heard of David Hartley (1732 – 1813), aka David Hartley the Younger to distinguish him from his famous father, was when I got an email last week asking me to give this vote of thanks.  We’ll come to Archie’s record on introducing me to the unexpected later.  Archie read out Hartley’s obituary that concludes, “Hartley was, if not one of those who made history, at least was in singularly close touch with the stirring events of a most eventful period.”  I think that obituary is slightly unfair, for while he may not have played on the very highest levels of the political or scientific fields, Hartley certainly followed his friend Franklin’s advice, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”, by doing both well at his own level.david-hartley-english-diplomat-humanities-social-sciences-librarynew-york-public-library

Sir John Stuttard at our last meeting pointed out the contributions of Alderman William Beckford supporting John Wilkes and, in turn, the American colonies.  Archie points to the even deeper support, nay friendship, that David Hartley had with Benjamin Franklin.  As part American, while aware of Franklin’s imperfections, I ‘revere’ (no, not Paul Revere) that immense polymath and politician, and envy Hartley his warm relationship.  Over the weekend I had some time to browse some of the copious correspondence between the two men, and it was clearly a deep friendship that sustained itself through a bitter conflict.

To discuss Hartley seems prescient scheduling as today’s news is dominated by the nature of the special relationship between our two nations and foreign influence on American politics [Trump and Russian influence].  Even more unexpectedly, my morning was spent trying to help a new fire company producing a novel fire suppressant additive, of which Hartley would approve.  Given the state of politics today it is tempting to emulate Hartley and offer all politicians a breakfast upstairs while perhaps turning off the safety equipment.

Archie mentions John Jay in passing.  John Jay (1745 – 1829) was an American statesman, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, also a signatory of the Treaty of Paris, and appointed by George Washington as first Chief Justice of the United States.  Jay was yet another in the anti-slavery movement which seems, as much as representation and taxation, to define the interactions of the transatlantic relationships at the turn of the end of the 18th century.  Alongside Hamilton and Madison, Jay was one of The Federalist Papers triumvirate.  While Jay wrote only four of the 85 papers, they were those “Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence”, issues that seem to have become more pressing of late.  In a letter to Franklin, Jay looked back to the Treaty of Paris negotiations, recalling, “We worked in strange but successful concert. We had in common, I think, good will and good sense.”1  I wonder how much of this common concert was engendered by sharing common values on important issues such as slavery, free trade, and the rights of men.

I promised a word about Archie and the unexpected.  Without Archie I wouldn’t be standing here today.  He converted me to the social side of Broad Street and the Ward Club.  Then he and Sir David Lewis encouraged me to become a Gresham Professor.  I might note that Franklin was a Royal Society member and thus also involved with Gresham College in those days, as was probably Hartley and certainly Hartley’s father.  Without Archie’s encouragement I certainly wouldn’t have stood for Alderman, and thus not have become a member of this esteemed Association.

Just as Archie bumped into the Conservators’ Chairman on Putney Heath, he bumped into me one day in 2007.  As many of you know, my wife Elisabeth and I own a 1923 Thames Sailing Barge, Lady Daphne.  The managers of London Bridge City Pier removed the water supply one day ten years ago leaving us parched along the river.  Their reason?  In an echo of Hartley, the hosepipe connection was a fire hazard.  As he did on Putney Heath, Archie took up our cause.  He fought the health & safety lunacy and restored the supply.  Finally, I might note my surprise returning home one night across Tower Bridge to see that my friend also has his monument.  His name is engraved on the 1994 Centenary Plaque on the south east tower of the bridge.

Now, as historians, many of you will note the closing of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which sadly made both the crack-inclined Liberty Bell and the Economist’s 2016 Christmas obituary.  I have brought along one of their hand chimes to toll the end of this vote of thanks, not least because I certainly don’t want to obtain a Hartley-esque reputation that my “rising always operates as a dinner bell”.

I think you’ll agree that both David Hartley and Archie Galloway have obeyed Franklin twice over.  Both write things worth reading and do things worth writing.

[CHIME]

May I ask you to join me in thanking Historian Archie Galloway and may I please propose: “That the paper be printed and circulated, and be made available for publication at a later date”.  Thank you.

Surging Financial Crime In A Digitised World – Can We Turn The Tide?

Some remarks made before the CityForum Strategy Round Table on 3 November 2016 at the Guildhall.  Just before the publication of this ENISA report to which we contributed:

enisa-cover

“May I offer a warm welcome on behalf of the City of London Corporation.  We are delighted to be hosting you today here in the heart of the City.

The growth of cyber-related businesses – and indeed the tech and digital economy in general – is of great importance to the City of London Corporation.  As we move more towards a more a digitally enhanced economy in the City of London, especially in light of the challenge we now face to our more traditional financial services offer by way of the political challenges that are ongoing.  The growth of new industries such as fintech and cyber enhance the role of the City of London as a world-class centre for business and professional expertise and services.

The City of London – both large institutions and small businesses  – are subject not only to political or economic challenges but also technological ones.  And whilst the level of expertise around cyber in our banks may be developed, there are always individuals – or even individual states – looking to undermine our dominance as a global hub.

Later today, my colleague Mark Boleat will address this gathering on the importance of international partnerships and how we can work together to meet those challenges.  We have made great strides in securing international partnerships to foster shared intelligence and prosperity in this space – and we are grateful to have Cyrus Vance joining us later, and we are grateful for his continued support for initiatives such as the Global Cyber Alliance.

But we also believe that there is an exciting ocyberpportunity here to harness the burgeoning tech expertise in the UK.  Our dominance of our more traditional financial services markets, markets which provide amazing access to both finance and services, talent and data, could enable us to create something new and secure not only for our digital way of life, but increase our general economic prosperity too.  We have in the past discussed the important role that insurance and reinsurance can play in making this risk ‘normal’.

And of course – that knowledge and expertise here in the City also includes our own Police force – the national lead for economic crime – and we are  fortunate to have them join us today as well, and to have the Commissioner, Ian Dyson, speaking.  Only by working in partnership with our Police and security forces can we begin to build a prosperous City which is secure, confident in its own abilities, and ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. cyber_cover

There is a saying that “the opposite of danger is taking risks”.  In the cyber space I believe that is truer than ever, and I hope that today’s conference suggests some of the technical and financial risks we need to take, from using distributed ledgers and blockchains for added, rather than reduced, security, or a Cyber Re, similar to Pool Re, for national resilience.

Thank you.”

Plebicide Or Silver Lining?

EU Referendum – Strategy Thoughts

À La Recherche Du Temps Trouvé

For many months we have been discussing the EU Referendum.  Since 24 June we have been discussing even more fervently the result, to “Leave”.  To get the obvious question out of the way, yes I voted “Remain”, though recognising the need for EU reform, which still stands.  Now, our old positions so obviously need to be put behind us.  We all recognise the need to work together with others, going forward to create our common wealth rather than dwell on pre-Referendum days.  Personally, I turn to the question, “What Did You Do In The Brexit Daddy (or Granddaddy)?”

Since 24 June, the magnitude of change that the result may have unleashed is only beginning to dawn upon us.  The EU Referendum appeared to hinge around three core issues – sovereignty, economics, and immigration.  The ramifications of the result have destabilised the established UK political parties and perhaps the system, caused financial turmoil worldwide, and encouraged further changes across Europe.  But where there is change there is opportunity.

The opportunity to make major realignments in sovereignty, economics, and inclusion are real and potentially very positive.  We have the opportunity to consider significant improvements in the structure of government, taxation, regulation, immigration and visas, infrastructure, international relations, and much more.  It is heady, and perhaps dangerous, and an opportunity to improve things that rarely passes by.

This letter to The Economist on 9 July is funny, and I’m sure self-aware:

A new entry for the Oxford English Dictionary:

Plebicide n. the self-inflicted ruin of a nation’s prospects or interests via a reckless act of direct democracy.

BRUCE STEEDMAN
St Helier, Jersey

Plebicide

‘Unity and Trade’

The City of London may have an important role in helping to unite the nation, and unite the nation with the world.  If we want to take bolder steps, we could create a more prosperous future for all.  We also need to replenish our reserves of goodwill.  I might emphasise two points for us, ‘unity’ and ‘trade’.  The nation needs to be seen abroad as open, tolerant, and tolerably united.  That unity may mean pointing harder to the City of London’s millennium-old role in forming new businesses and trade, rather than its recent (and in my opinion, inaccurate and unfair) association with a UK bank oligopoly.  Any nation that wishes to prosper must trade from an open and competitive environment.  Competition means that the state sector needs to be modest (taxation under control), that education is paramount, and that cartels, barriers-to-entry, information asymmetries, and agency problems are avoided.  Trade is the gateway to reaping the economic benefits of specialisation and comparative advantage.  What would constitute some bold steps? I thought I might note a few below.

Immediate

It has been disappointing to see how slowly so-called ‘leaders’ have come forward to recognise that EU nationals are valued members of the national community.  There have been some honourable exceptions, most notably the Mayor of London.  It has been heart-breaking to see the scale of hate-crimes the result has encouraged.  Things we could consider doing:

  • provide a clear statement of how much we value the EU nationals who are members of our community. We could back that up by being more public about encouraging them to apply for the Freedom of the City, noting how welcome they are.  We could encourage the government to make a clear ‘for life’ visa statement on resident EU nationals;
  • provide a clear statement to firms of our (City) goals in any negotiations;
  • work hard to get a pan-party delegation to negotiate – http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/12/06/today-in-irish-history-6-december-1921-the-anglo-irish-treaty-is-signed/#.V3jVL7grLGg – so that the end of negotiations is the end and not the beginning of a rejection of any compromises;
  • work hard to assemble a business delegation supporting the pan-party delegation.

Sovereignty

The Guildhall Heritage Gallery currently displays a letter from John Hancock to John Wilkes, Lord Mayor from 1774-1775, that reminds us that the City of London has traditionally played a role in using its sovereignty to advance wider causes, often to the great long-term benefit of all.  Things we could consider doing:

  • connect harder and faster with the Commonwealth using our connections with the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council and Baroness Scotland – should the UK make a more material contribution to the Commonwealth budget (reminder, circa just £46 million annually for the entire budget not the UK’s contribution – less than the not-so-faithfully represented £50 million per day to the EU) – make the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018, and the run-up ahead of time, ten times the scale of the one in Malta last autumn;
  • work harder and faster with the UN on things such as the Sustainable Development Goals via the Business & Sustainable Development Commission;
  • connect with the forgotten – Alderney, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Sark, the Overseas Territories who are truly confused – connect with the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • use our convening powers – perhaps a banquet for some of the segments above, or a special dinner for world trade, or European financial services;
  • perhaps we could even be assertive and play a direct role in the re-regulation of financial services, supporting the return of voluntary standards markets. Could the City sponsor a new financial services regulator for global voluntary standards markets in areas like KYC/AML/Sanction or professionalism working alongside the prudential and compliance arms?

Economics

It’s not scare-mongering, it’s real – we will lose some significant financial services business to other European centres.  Our core problem is now how we’re going to attract new business.  As Z/Yen compiles the Global Financial Centres Index, from our relationships with other financial centres I know that several to many have been in London selling their jurisdiction to firms who need to leave – “just too many moving parts” one US firm said to me.  Things we could consider doing:

  • picking a European financial centre that we think is City of London friendly (Dublin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg, Milan?) and working with it for the smooth transition of businesses, assisting them with ‘brass plating’ (perhaps using Crown Dependency access too) so that only HQs need move, and at some point some smooth transitions back, mostly from one or two places;
  • tax – our Achilles heel going forward as it is the basis of the money-laundering allegations and increases the complexity of current regulations. A radical move towards a UK land value tax (a GLA interest as well) and a consumption tax (now possible as the VAT regime is moving to a UK VAT regime) could mean the abolition of corporation tax (more realistically setting it at 0%), the removal of income tax, a streamlining of the benefits system (see identity below), perhaps even with immigration control the introduction of a universal minimum income that could work.  Bold statements on tariffs, i.e. zero, could establish London as the global trade centre (interestingly, in 1960 Hong Kong’s GDP/capita was US$429, equal to Jamaica and below Turkey, Greece, Israel, and many others – with effectively a nil corporation tax);
  • to prevent further losses of information and finance businesses, sign up to be the gold standard General Data Protection Regulation despite being outside the EU – analogous to the Maltese strategy of being the first on compliance with EU financial regulation;
  • implement the ‘Open Data’ policies forcefully to create business and a more open trade culture;
  • consider a ‘financial services free trade zone’ for London or parts of London and the UK;
  • develop further the City of London’s UK SME work even wider is sectors such as media, film, shipping, health, or biotech;
  • perhaps be bold and reach out with suggestions (though some months hence) of recreating the Common Market afresh alongside EEA;
  • perhaps be bold and reach out to join other regional trade bodies directly, TTIP, TTP, Mercosur with some unilateral guarantees, e.g. “no tariffs, ever”, etc.;
  • consider tactical moves such as encouraging the old P&I Mutuals (Protection & Indemnity) to return to the UK by reversing the early 1990’s capital regulations;
  • on being ‘green’, issue Environmental Policy Performance Bonds;
  • on financial stability, implement Confidence Accounting;
  • on infrastructure, sure Heathrow, now why not Gatwick too, and any other private entity that wants to take risks on infrastructure for future reward;
  • turn the Intellectual Property Office into one with teeth:
We Need To Reinvent The Patent Process Michael Mainelli 2014 Wired, Condé Nast Publications (October 2014), pages 74-75.

Inclusion

As an immigrant myself several times over, I feel this is the hardest area.  The spirit of the 2012 Olympics was that London was the world’s city, the heart of the global community.  Our focus here should be on simplicity and speed.  Things we could consider doing:

  • become the global centre for work on the global identity problem;[1]
  • encourage the government to be bolder and go visa-less where possible, go electronic everywhere – a global financial centres needs global cosmopolitan people – and consider a ‘London Financial Services’ visa;
  • encourage the government to emulate immediately leading jurisdictions with proper electronic identity systems, Estonia being foremost, i.e. based on mutual distributed ledger (aka blockchain) technology (if you wish to see such a system on my mobile, built with PwC, just ask). Such a system could be more aggressive programme for Gov.UK Verify and:
    • help ‘prove’ that immigration and visa targets are under control;
    • cut $3bn to $5bn from know-your-customer, anti-money-laundering, and ultimate-beneficial-ownership processes in banking, insurance, and investment management, thus making London more competitive rapidly in financial services;
    • having our regulators take the KYC/AML suggestions further, i.e. surcharge those who are non-digital and use paper;
    • setting a stiff national KYC/AML target, e.g. an account opened within three days or a valid reason given;
    • create new global identity businesses in London;
  • establish a tradable route to immigration, i.e. a firm can swap one national for a UK national elsewhere in the world;
  • get a clear message on university students coming to the UK out quickly – perhaps reverse the decision of a while back and allow students to stay for up to two years after a ‘proper’ graduation;
  • guarantee university places to overseas students with an insurance guarantee to cover courses being pulled or visa problems, thus enhancing the UK higher education brand.

Conclusion

The idea of listing the above ideas is not to bring chaos into disorder.  I would hope that some of the above thoughts spark further thinking.  I recognise that it is a long walk from a set of thoughts, to good ideas, to implementing just a few well.  But we do have a heck of an opportunity to implement perhaps some special few and perhaps explain to our children and grandchildren that we did do something for City and Country in the great EU transformation.  Anyway, “let’s be optimistic, pessimism is for better times”.

[1]  About 2.4 billion people worldwide lack official identification, about 1.5 billion over the age of 14.  While they certainly know who they are, they are excluded from market economy property ownership, and frequently free movement, social protection, and empowerment.  They cannot ‘prove’ their existence to the satisfaction of society’s registries.  Lack of official identification increases remittance costs, corruption, and crime.  Insightfully, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions” contains target 16.9 to “provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030”. See also Z/Yen’s work on IDchainZ.

Staying In EUr Relationship Is Hard Work – With Or Outwith The UK

Published: Thursday, 23 June 2016 10:53
Long Finance Blog – The Pamphleteers

Hopefully, Thursday, 23 June 2016 is a quiet, slow news day with everyone at the polls. Regular readers know that Pamphleteers is about the long-term. We have published only a little on the EU Referendum. I thought I’d exhibit some courage and try to write a long-term post for today with the referendum result pending and uncertain.

EU images

To remind those of you reading this from the future, on 23 June 2016 the UK voted on the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, asking the electorate – “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” It has been a noisy, acrimonious, and vacuous campaign by both sides. Many voters, myself included, resent having to vote on what was, initially, an internal Conservative party problem due to poor strategy, poor leadership, and poor discipline. The Conservatives are split one from the other in almost two separate parties. Labour’s leadership is split from Labour’s membership. Many things have been said that cannot be unsaid. And with referenda (yes, I’m grammatically stubborn here) now so easily called I fear another one coming, perhaps on a vital subject with no proximate cause, “shall we drive on the right instead of the left?”.

Obviously the big decision will be to ‘leave’ or ‘remain’. But the implications of ‘to leave’ or ‘to remain’ hinge on how large the leave or remain margins are, turnout percentages, on the various splits between the four nations (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England) and the political parties, as well as on the extent of clear divisions by age, gender, ethnicity, urban versus rural, education levels, and London & the Southeast (themselves perhaps divided with central London versus the Home Counties or central London versus suburbs) versus the rest of the country. Whew. Lots of analysis and different interpretations coming. And lots more UK politics.

I have had the opportunity to travel widely around Europe on work much more than usual during the course of the campaign. Outside the UK, there are also things to do. Other Europeans are hurt. They don’t understand why the UK had this referendum, at this time. In rebuilding any relationship one should:

· Acknowledge that trust was broken.

· Admit your role.

· Apologise for how you acted and what happened.

· Appraise where you particularly broke trust and how you can be more connected, committed, and dependable.

· Amend and plan ahead.

Acknowledge, Admit, Apologise, Appraise – the UK needs to walk round the EU and do these things, whether in or out. If ‘in’, then it would be nice to walk round with the hands of supportive partners, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, … there are many countries who earnestly want to partner.

And what might “amend and plan ahead” contain?

1 – In the UK, commit to EU reform. When a light bulb burns out, you don’t buy a new house, you fix the light bulb. UK political parties should write specific EU reforms into their manifestos.

2 – Around Europe, remove direct EU foibles. There are some very obvious points of attack that have been made more evident in this campaign, the waste of two EU parliamentary seats – remove Strasbourg – unaudited accounts, some regulation, complete the common market in services, etc. All EU members can use this as an opportunity to do the obvious and remove easy targets for demagogues around the EU.

3 – Around Europe, set out an exit plan for a member state to leave the euro. There should be the banking regulatory equivalent of a ‘living will’ for a member who wishes to leave. The euro cannot be a lobster pot. Nor should one country’s problems with the euro be guaranteed to precipitate an EU crisis. Yes, the euro-zone might shrink, but it is unlikely to fold. Perhaps there is an optimal size that happens to be smaller but far better for members. Perhaps the euro-zone will grow when it is grown up enough to recognise that there will be leavers as well as joiners over the long-term.

4 – Around Europe, address the democratic deficit of the EU. The knee-jerk reaction to ‘EU democratic deficit’ is to give powers to the European Parliament. Here I have a strange suggestion. The European Parliament exacerbates the democratic deficit rather than fixes it. Any trade agreement requires some form of submission to a greater good, but the more the Parliament is strengthened the more sovereignty issues it creates. The more it is strengthened the greater the dissonance between “no more ‘ever closer union'” and the intentions and desire for power of such a body. There are two democratic lines now, national parliaments and direct European elections. These dual electoral lines have had led to confusion. People kick the establishment on European elections while voting pragmatically in national elections. These dual lines have funded fringe parties of right and left confusing national elections. There are many things to discuss here, e.g. directly elected commissioners, the origination of legislation, national parliamentary representation, etc. Whatever, consider constitutional reform, perhaps even the abolition of the European Parliament.

If nothing else, the EU Referendum campaign repeatedly focused attention on three issues – economics, sovereignty, and immigration. Economics matters everywhere. The UK is not the only country with sovereignty concerns about the EU. Two-to-four above do little about immigration. UK perception aside, immigration reality is a bigger issue in the EU than in the UK.

And if the UK votes leave today? Then Europe should still undertake points two-to-four above – fix the obvious, fix the euro, fix the constitution – though sadly without what might have made a great long-term partner.

Europe's Ties That Bind

Friendships Better Than Professorships?

28jan16_1440_v2This month we, the Trustees of Gresham College, hosted the Lord Mayor’s Gresham Event at Guildhall (he or she is our President!) … http://www.gresham.ac.uk/london-the-global-maritime-centre-in-a-changing-world

London – The Global Maritime Centre in a Changing World

 Thursday, 28 January 2016 – 6:00pm, Guildhall
 
THE LORD MAYOR’S ANNUAL GRESHAM EVENT – Introduction by the Lord Mayor of the City of London followed by a symposium

London’s maritime cluster is a tremendous success story. While the docks have migrated out of the centre and international dominance has been challenged, London remains an enormous shipping centre, perhaps the world’s largest.

From the Baltic Exchange and the shipbroking community to shipowners, insurers, commercial and investment banking, trade finance, commodities, legal and accountancy services – the scale of modern maritime London is awe inspiring.

London is a leading place for specialist education in these areas and also has unrivalled expertise in the provision of services to the global shipping community, including dispute resolution, class and survey work, as well as maritime innovation and technology. We will celebrate the achievements of centuries, and look forward to the challenges of centuries to come.

My Lord Mayor, My Lord, Sheriffs, Chairman, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen.   On behalf of the Provost, the Council, my fellow Professors and the Gresham Team I am pleased to welcome you tonight to our seventh Lord Mayor’s Annual Gresham Event.

We are delighted that this lecture on “London – The Global Maritime Centre In A Changing World” will be given by the most distinguished Professor Costas Grammenos, Professor of Shipping, Trade and Finance at the Cass Business School, City University London.  Costas is also the Founder and Chairman of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance.

Gresham College was set up as a result of the 1579 Will of Sir Thomas Gresham to provide free education for those who live and work in the City of London.  We are still interpreting Sir Thomas Gresham’s Tudor will over four centuries later.  The Gresham College Group of the 1640s became the Royal Society.  The Royal Society was founded and housed at Gresham College until the Great Fire of London 400 years ago.  Over the centuries we have had distinguished Professors such as Henry Briggs, Christopher Wren, and Robert Hooke.

The range of issues with which education should properly be concerned, divinity, geometry, astronomy, physic, law, rhetoric, and music, has been extended over the centuries.  Since the last century, commerce, and all that goes with that, has been a focus for the Gresham Professors of Commerce.  Recently, Gresham College added environmental science, last year information technology.  The City evolves and Gresham College evolves with it but I still like to call us a Tudor Open University.

Of course one crude measure of our College’s success is attendance.  Which reminds me to take the roll call for the register this evening.  Bowman?  Charles Bowman?  Rigden, Christine Rigden…

We can only accommodate just over 20,000 physical ‘students’ at our 130 or so lectures, so back in the 1990s we went online.  We have nearly 2,000 recorded lectures by the finest minds available to the world – an unrivalled global open source resource.  Each year we have hundreds of millions of website ‘hits’, but a more accurate measure is our 6 ½ million lecture views and downloads last year.  We are on course for even more in 2016.  We step forwards, having commissioned a major revamp of the website and app for this year.  We also step backwards, having commissioned a groundbreaking biography of Sir Thomas himself.

Tonight’s event is a highlight in our annual calendar.  Our President, the Lord Mayor, has an intellectual event of his choosing.  As the The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman the Lord Mountevans, has an intense interest in shipping, it is hardly a surprise who chose tonight’s topic.  Gresham College too has a strong shipping interest, from early lectures on logarithms, navigation and woodworm to over 300 online today ranging from slave ships and whale ships to lighthouses to shipbuilding.  As a gunrunner and spy, we even have a lecture on Gresham’s armed Elizabethan Merchantman and the armada.  In a parallel universe somewhere Gresham College probably deploys submarines and an aircraft carrier or two.

Tonight’s event wouldn’t be possible without some special sponsorship, this evening from Financière de Courcelles, the French Mergers & Acquistions powerhouse with an extremely strong shipping team, and Caledonian MacBrayne, the UK’s largest navy plying the waters off Glasgow.

The order of proceedings will be roughly this: our President shall set the scene, Professor Grammenos share his thoughts on “35 Years Of London’s Maritime Cluster Through The Eyes Of An Academic”, Dr Nikolas Tsakos, Chairman of Intertanko, will provide his thoughts from the industry by way of response.  We will then move to a panel question and answer session, chaired by Professor Heather McLaughlin of Canterbury Christ Church University and former Master of the Worshipful Company of the World Traders.  I slipped up as the programme says me, but you can relax as you’re in Heather’s far better hands.  Following the panel, I will say a few words in closing.  And now, I would like to surrender the podium to our President, The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman the Lord Mountevans.  Thank you.

20160128_191839

Nikos Tsakos, Heather McLaughlin, Costas Grammenos

http://www.gresham.ac.uk/london-the-global-maritime-centre-in-a-changing-world

Well, tonight shows too well that, with shipping, it’s all in the delivery!”  And what great delivery.

There is little one can say or add to the fascinating presentations and panels that doesn’t get in the way of direct discussion, so may I ask you to join me in thanking our speakers and our chairman.

May I also ask you to join me in thanking the Gresham team who have made all the arrangements, social and technical both online and offline.

As mentioned, tonight’s event wouldn’t be possible without some special sponsorship, this evening from Caledonian MacBrayne, and Financière de Courcelles, both of whom will be available during the reception they have kindly provided.

On behalf of the Provost, the Registrar, and all of us at Gresham College, may I equally thank you the audience for coming tonight.  I hope that those of you who are new to Gresham College do come to Barnard’s Inn Hall at Holborn or the Museum of London for the numerous events we have planned with many fantastic speakers.  May you become, as I have, part of the magical community begun in 1579, over four centuries ago, by that notable man of commerce and founder of The Royal Exchange, whose legacy still inspires us tonight, Sir Thomas Gresham. I hope to welcome all of you back next year for the Lord Mayor’s Annual Gresham Event.

There are tall ships and small ships, but the best ships are Professorships.  No wait, I meant, there are tall ships and small ships, but the best ships are friendships.  I hope all of our friends enjoy the reception that follows.  Thank you.

 

Reprise Of The Morgensprache

During the week of the Lord Mayor’s Show it was our turn to host the Hamburger Morgensprache back in London.   We were delighted to be able to host them at two events.  The first event was a Freedom Ceremony on Friday, 13 November:

 

20151113_114224

Hamburger Morgensprache party with Murray Craig (far left)

As ever, Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, City of London, provided one of his delightfully witty, historical, and theatrical presentations, with a traditional round of Madeira to toast the “Youngest Freemen”.  Perhaps the most touching thing the City of London did was to dig out from the archives this parchment from 1342!

A writ under King Edward II’s Privy Seal bidding the Mayor, Aldermen & Commonalty to allow the merchants of Almaine to enjoy their ancient franchise to sell wine and other merchandise was read in the Mayor’s Court on 13 November 1342.

The following morning of the show, 14 November, the Worshipful Company of World Traders hosted the team for a breakfast at the Capital Club, before everyone headed off to join their floats, have a wonderful Show, and get drenched!

Hamburgers Here

The Ältermänner of Hamburg in the Lord Mayor’s Show