The Franco-British Chamber teamed up with HSBC France to produce a timely, topical and textbook event that shed light on the global deflationary risk encountered by France and the United Kingdom. Invitations were sent out individually to members of the FBCCI’s President’s Forum and Cercle Economique contacts, and a small but select group of enthusiastic business people arrived through HSBC’s doors to lend their eyes and ears to François Letondu’s well-researched presentation. HSBC’s resident economist and strategist, an approachable and informative presence throughout, selected a subject of international importance in order to contextualise the debates and discussions that envelop the British and French economies today. 2015 has already proved to be a fascinating and turbulent year from both a geopolitical and geo-economic perspective, and it was thus with a slight sense of irony that guests stepped out into the grey Parisian midst at Métro Georges V, a monarch whose reign encompassed a vast range of geo-economic and monetary shifts.
Mr. Letondu’s graph-based talk was as much a tour de force as it was a tour du monde. From brief reference to the falling cost of oil prices to the consumerist habits of Europeans and Americans, no major financial subject of the last five years was spared as the economist passed from India to China to France, and finally Great Britain, finishing philosophically on the way in which electoral uncertainty may/will affect investment both in and out of the UK. ‘Quantitative easing’ was also a common buzzword of the presentation, particularly in light of Monday’s news that the European Central Bank has reintroduced the purchasing of government bonds in the Eurozone. The economist was additionally happy to answer questions at the end, and a lively exchange of opinions ensued between guests and colleagues.
The Franco-British Chamber was delighted to both organise and participate in this intimate but successful meeting. We are already looking forward to the next business-themed breakfast on the calendar, and we extend our gratitude to HSBC and all those who attended.