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Correspondent’s Week – Angela Henshall

The problem with joining Money Marketing is that you can never really leave – it is the Bermuda triangle of financial services. MM reporters past and present are lurking, sorry, working everywhere.

Arriving at the Global Investor offices at 9am, I realise that the 10.30am start with hangover is going to be a thing of the past.

The first to track down my email is ex-MM mortgage guru Alison Bone who appears to have settled nicely into her role as trainee bookworm at publishing trade paper The Bookseller. Her patch so far covers Spiderman and women’s erotica.

The first week in a new job is always going to be daunting – new place, new people, fewer monkey jokes. Well, actually, not so many new people. I already have post and a stack of emails to go through. I am helpfully informed of my phone extension, email and job description so I am off and running.

Unfortunately, my new efficient working regime is interrupted five minutes in by PR monkey at Mainland Chris Duncan. The ex-Money Marketing investment writer’s tiny little hands have been working their monkey magic and he is on the case with a couple of client meetings. Unfortunately, things soon get sidetracked to Karate Kid and the efficiency drive is lost.

ABN Amro’s yearbook is out on Tuesday morning and the analysts’ presentation involves some serious concentration as this is a fairly foreign area for me. Former MM news editor Mr Corey “Dow Jones” Boles is there, too, wittering on about something to do with the FT’s front page.

The yearbook figures are interesting, with some strong indications that the German economy has turned a corner and that negotiations with unions, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are finally making progress. The prognosis is good for infrastructure investment.

On Wednesday, I am off to Goldman Sachs’ annual foreign exchange markets conference further down Fleet Street. There is a lot of focus on Asian currencies, with some debate on whether the movements of the Chinese renminbi will determine whether the currencies in other Asian countries such as Korea and Thailand strengthen.

On Thursday, I have a lunch organised by United Financial Group with leading and emerging Russian companies. The speakers are Oleg Vyugin who used to run monetary policy at the Central Bank and ex-Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar.

Despite a lot of political uncertainty, Russia seems poised for growth in the months to come and the room is packed with rep-orters and businessmen.

A couple of the fund managers from the US are keen to interrogate Vyugin but he seems quite happy to ignore them completely. He is quite an entertaining speaker despite the language barrier. He recently wrote a satirical piece for Moscow’s biggest paper Vedomosti on how to stop economic growth in Russia.

He explains that despite enormous obstacles from unpredictable tax laws and regulation, the Russian economy is continuing to grow. He adds rather jov-ially in Russian that “there are no fortresses the Bolsheviks cannot storm”.

The week finishes with Money Marketing features editor Hilary Morison’s leaving do. at Jamie’s bar on Poland Street. There are around 10-years worth of MM journalists clamouring at the bar. The evening is spent watching freelancer Sonia Speedy network and meeting the new people at MM. Oh and listening to former MM features writer Bruce Love tell everyone he’s “just flown in from Geneva, mate”.

The following morning is not a pretty sight and the perpetual half-hangover returns about seven days into the new job.

Angela Henshall is a senior staff writer at Global Investor”I’ll only marry a rich man with a tennis court who can keep me.” – Marlene Scott of Polhill.

The upcoming nuptials of Prince Charles and Camilla must surely provide some lucky IFA with an opportunity to help them through this change of life with mortgage payment protection or will-writing services perhaps. We expect the excruciatingly spurious press releases to start darkening our inboxes at MM in the near future.


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