Archive for May, 2013

Breakfast ClubPaul Fisher, Executive Director for Markets and a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), addressed the Cardiff Breakfast Club this morning.

Paul joined the Bank of England in 1990, holding a number of senior positions before becoming Executive Director for Markets in March 2009. He discussed the impact of ‘groundbreaking’ institutional changes the Bank of England introduced last month and gave an outlook for the UK economy, including the role that monetary policy can play going forward.

These ‘historic’ new arrangements include the return of banking supervision. While Paul stressed that supervision ‘cannot guarantee that banks and building societies won’t fail’, changes to the supervision procedure have been made to ‘exploit synergies’ between all parties involved, to ensure a better job is done.

Turning to the economy, Paul stated that this has been a ‘disappointing’ and ‘extraordinarily flat’ period, with only 5 of the 21 quarters since 2008 showing growth. Paul estimated that Britain is ‘between two-thirds and three-quarters of the way through’ the post-recession recovery period, and was keen to stress that no ‘crash bang boom wallop’ recovery is likely any time soon.

Paul Fisher, Bank of England, was this morning's Breakfast Club speaker.

Paul Fisher, Bank of England, was this morning’s Breakfast Club speaker.

This can however be seen as a ‘glass half full or glass half empty’ situation. While short term growth is likely to remain subdued for the next few years, the situation after such a deep recession ‘could be profoundly worse’. Paul is fairly hopeful that ‘gentle’ growth will resume this year, and is pleased to see firms and households expanding once more.

Spending will remain muted as households continue to save more than before the crisis, with individuals also working longer and for lower wages. The financial sector has been impacted by banks and building societies looking to sell off their commercial property portfolio. The corporate sector presents a ‘mixed picture’; SMEs are struggling to access the credit they want, but larger companies could help the situation by investing rather than continuing to save.

Paul also discussed the consistently low interest rates that frustrate savers, explaining that we cannot expect safe, real returns from the market until the economy is growing again. Once we get back to reasonable growth rates, savers will be see better rates of interest.

Paul was supportive of the efforts monetary policy has made to sustain the economy’s return to growth. There are ‘strict limits to what monetary policy can achieve’ in the current situation, but progress is being made. Changes will take time to work through. The Bank of England will continue to play its part in stimulating economic recovery, but we should not expect a ‘boom’ any time soon.


The next Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting will be held on the 14th June with guest speaker Russell Goodway, Cardiff Council. This event is kindly sponsored by Cardiff Metropolitan University. For information please contact Sally Taylor on 02920 549597 or at 



MIPIM_outsideI really do wonder at the lack of vision shown by some critics of our Council’s Inward Investment strategy.   With limited funds the team are trying to sell Cardiff as a location for inward investment.

One of the world’s biggest exhibitions, MIPIM, held in Cannes, South of France every year is attended by some very serious potential inward investors to Cardiff.   Often contacts made at such gatherings, and discussions on projects, take years to come into fruition. I have attended this event on behalf of clients and feel that the Council’s team, and the commercial partners that accompanied them, should be applauded for going to this event to research city competitors actively, meet prospective investors and generally raise the profile of Cardiff as a serious player in international business destinations.

Please stop criticising what is an essential part of the city’s inward investment strategy.

For a moment let’s forget about the Euro crisis, the stock market, the Lions tour, changes to the welfare system, the Eurovision song contest…

Let’s consider the enormous crisis we have here in Wales; obesity in both adults and children. apple

Figures show that three in five adults in Wales are now classified as overweight or obese; the first increase in 5 years.  The costs to our society, and to the individuals concerned, in terms of hospital care, operations, sicknesses etc is and will become unsustainable unless urgent action is taken.

We must maximise resources to address this issue which can no longer be ignored.  While initiations and campaigns undertaken by the Welsh Government, Health Boards, Sport Wales, local authorities, governing bodies of sports have been run, they have not worked.  A strategy is needed to encompass all sections of society to deliver a healthier Wales and population. The problem has been identified again and action is needed, urgently.

People both young and old should be encouraged to take part in a little more exercise each day and eat a little less each day.  A dear friend of mine, after years of persuasion by me, finally gave walking a try by going to get the paper at a local shop less than a quarter of a mile from his home rather than drive!  He enjoyed it so much he began to increase his distance and after some two years, together with a modest reduction in food intake, he has lost 2 stone in weight. He feels better, sleeps better and importantly for him can now wear his precious Armani suits that he had not worn for 10 years as his weight increased!

So by taking a very small step literally, a large difference can be made to the health and well-being of every overweight or obese citizen of Wales, and save our nation millions of pounds in care and benefits.bonnie tyler

And finally as we all look forward to seeing the annual Eurovision Comedy Show, good luck to our very healthy Bonnie Tyler as she attempts to win the Eurovision Song Contest tomorrow night.

kate photoToday Petersens has welcomed Kate Anderson, our latest GO Wales student, to the team!  She will be with us for a 10 week taster placement and we asked her to write a blog to introduce herself…

Yesterday I completed the final assessment of my degree in English Literature. Handing in the final essays was appropriately accompanied by the heavens opening up over Cardiff! Before my existential crisis could set in, I made an exciting plunge into the world of work by starting my ten-week taster with Petersens. Fittingly, the sun has now come out and all the team here have gone out of their way to help me settle in.

What led me to apply for the work taster here was its brilliant reputation. Over the course of my time here in Cardiff, Petersens is a name I’ve heard time and time again. Across Cardiff University, Petersens is known for its commitment to championing work experience and the high quality of its work. I was amazed to finally go behind-the-scenes and realise it’s only a team of five people that carry out all of that PR I’d been browsing online.

Already I’m really looking forward to attending their regular Cardiff Breakfast Club and getting to experience first-hand some of the events work that the team here at Petersens carries out. I’ve had a really interesting morning getting to know all of their clients and even after one day it’s helped me gain a focus into the eclectic world of PR. More than that, for the first time in my life I’ve been into a full-size Waitrose. Now if that isn’t a positive life experience I don’t know what is.

I know that doing a work taster with Petersens is the next step in gaining that invaluable insight and successfully securing a job after I officially graduate, and I’d encourage anyone thinking about it to get on and do it. It’s definitely helped me keep my existential crisis at bay for a few more weeks!