Went to a very pleasant dinner at Manchester Town Hall last night. The speaker and guest of honour was Alderman John Stuttard, the Lord Mayor of the City of London. He roves around the world promoting the City as the world's leading financial centre. There is some evidence that it has genuinely overtaken New York, partly because of the heavy handed regulation introduced into US corporate governance following the dramatic collapses of both Enron and WorldCom.
"We intend to erect statues of Mr Sarbanes and Mr Oxley as a mark of respect for their contribution to the British financial services industry," he said.
He also said he'd been to Burnley, where he was born, and had begun to explore ways in which the financial world can start talking to school kids earlier. To make people more financially savvy, but also to ensure the education system is preparing people with skills for life.
I resisted all temptation to say to him, or his wife, that I only came to the dinner because I thought it was going to be Ken Livingstone. I think he may have heard that before.