Speech: Secretary of State address to City Week

first_img1. Introduction – the prophets of doom were wrongIf there is one sector in our economy that represents a combination of old-fashioned British grit and determination alongside global innovation and leadership, it must surely be financial services. Time and again doom-mongers have predicted the demise of the City.And time and again they have been proved wrong.From the Big Bang deregulation of financial markets in 1986, when some predicted London would struggle to continue to compete as a global financial centre.To cries that the end was nigh for the City of London when the United Kingdom decided against joining the Euro – a decision that I believe has stood the test of time.To the 2008 financial crisis, which brought the sector to the brink. All wrong.But the City of London has not just survived the onslaught, it has positively thrived in the face of some formidable threats.And as we prepare to leave the European Union, once again the death-knell has been sounded on the future of the UK’s financial sector.Now I understand people’s concerns – we are in the middle of a fundamental change of direction, and the unwillingness of Parliament I have to say to give certainty exacerbates the situation.But I am convinced that when the dust settles the City of London will do what it always does, which is to emerge fitter, stronger and more dynamic than ever.2. The strength of UK financial servicesSince the referendum in 2016, the United Kingdom has maintained – and even strengthened – its position as a global financial centre: I would argue as the leading financial centre.Just today, Deloitte’s Crane Survey shows that construction of new offices in London has hit its highest level since the referendum.Office space under construction between October 2018 and March 2019 amounted to 13.2 million square feet: the equivalent of more than 22 Shards, up 12% compared to the previous survey, while volume of new office construction activity was 3.5 million square feet: some 38% higher than the previous survey. Office space under construction between October 2018 and March 2019 amounted to 13.2 million square feet: the equivalent of more than 22 Shards worth of office space – and a 12% increase compared to the previous survey.It’s a far cry from the doom and gloom predicted when the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, and reinforces the City’s global pre-eminence as an investment destination.And this follows on from recent OECD figures which show the total value of foreign investment stock into the UK increased by a further 5% to £1.46 trillion in 2018, making the UK now home to more foreign investment than Germany, Spain and Poland all put together.And the financial sector stands at the heart of that success. Our deep and liquid global capital pool, a pioneering regulatory framework, and world-class advisory, legal and related professional services have helped us run one of the greatest trade surpluses in our history: at around £43 billion a year.Some 4.2% of the UK’s working population, nearly 1.4 million people, are employed in finance and insurance.And, with two-thirds of these employed outside London, it’s important to remember that the City’s influence is not confined to the square mile; it stretches right the way across the UK with new jobs and opportunities being created all the time. The depth of our professional infrastructure runs from London to Edinburgh, to Bristol to Belfast. Goldman Sachs, for example, is opening a new office in Milton Keynes, creating up to 250 jobs.The new UK challenger bank OakNorth investment is bolstering its ranks, taking on new staff in Manchester, the Midlands and the South West to keep up with demand for its demand for business loans.KPMG has announced plans to create up to 400 jobs over the next three years in Glasgow.This is truly a sector which benefits every part of the United Kingdom.And it is of fundamental importance to the overall strength of our economy.According to the industry body TheCityUK, our banking sector is the largest in Europe. London alone hosts over 250 foreign banks, more than New York, or Paris or Frankfurt combined.It is our largest tax payer, contributing around 11% of total UK tax receipts – or £72 billion on the latest figures – paying for the schools, hospitals, security and the other public services on which we all rely. Those who threaten its viability or stoke up resentment against the sector should remember how much it pays the bills.It is the ability to innovate, to adapt and to change that keeps us on top.The UK was the first Western centre to embrace Islamic finance: the first to offer a Sharia-compliant bond, for example – and remains its leading western centre.We also host the second largest offshore centre for Chinese renminbi clearing. Twice as many dollars are traded in the UK as in the US, and twice as many euros are traded in the UK as in the Eurozone.The UK has more than 40% of the global market in Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodity trading.We have the second largest centre for debt financing globally after the United States. And we are – by far – the largest capital market in Europe, accounting for 20% of the bond and loan market, and 33% of all Initial Public Offerings and private equity activity in Europe.And of course the United Kingdom is the home of the FinTech revolution, making sweeping changes, delivering more control, access and increased competition.It has been estimated that we have more software developers than Berlin, Dublin and Stockholm all combined. And of course we have Level 39, Europe’s largest fintech accelerator. And last year the UK attracted more venture capital investment than anywhere else in Europe, with £6.3 billion.And these advantages are showcased in our Fin Tech sector, with around 1,600 firms contributing approximately £7 billion to our economy and supporting over 75,000 jobs.Furthermore, the UK is now the number one investment destination in the world for mergers and acquisitions, ahead of the US, ahead of Germany and ahead of China, according to a report by EY.And these are just some of the achievements, I could go on and for a little bit of encouragement I might!But the point I want to make really is this: that this Government believes in the City and is behind you every step of the way in your success.Our financial services are of huge value to this country’s overall prosperity and I am convinced that you will remain at the heart of the global financial system whatever the outcome of the Brexit process.3. Facing the challenges aheadOf course, there’s no room for complacency and we must face up to the fact that there will be significant challenges as well as opportunities ahead, not least because a number of new players will become apparent.I recognise that, for many firms in this room, the period since the Referendum has been one of uncertainty.So please be assured that we firmly believe the best approach is to leave the EU with a deal and we are continuing to work hard, including with parties across Parliament, to find a way forward.But whatever the outcome, I want you to know that this Government will remain your champion. We will never jeopardise the City’s success.We recognise your difficulties, we recognise your importance, and we want to work with you to give certainty and stability wherever possible as we move towards our new deep and special partnership with the European Union.But it is also worth stressing, and I think it does not happen enough, that there is a world beyond Europe and there will be a time beyond Brexit.Britain stands on the brink of a new era in our trading history, continuing our close cooperation with our partners in European Union who still represent 44% of our exports, while reaching out as an independent trading nation for the first time in 40 years to friends old and new in the wider world.While our established partners such as the EU will continue to be of great importance, the locus of economic power is shifting rapidly, with an estimated 90% of global economic growth projected to occur outside the European Union over the next five years. That is where the markets are going to be, and that is where we need to be.The world is becoming increasingly well educated, wealthier, and more urbanised. And it is predicted that the share of global GDP of the seven largest emerging economies – including China, India and Turkey – could increase from around 35% to nearly 50% of global GDP by 2050, which would mean that they overtake the current G7. It is a seismic shift in global economic power. When I try to explain it to people, I point out them that by 2030, China will have more than 220 cities with a population of more than 1 million people. The whole of continental Europe will have 35. It is worth understanding the scale of the change.This historic shift in global economic and demographic power will reshape the opportunities of international trade in the years to come.The mission of my Department is to build a future for the UK’s international trade in this emerging environment: to open new markets, build new export and investment opportunities, investment into the United Kingdom and investment out from the United Kingdom, and, perhaps most importantly, champion the cause of free trade and trade liberalisation, especially in services in an era where protectionism is increasingly lifting its ugly head.In 2017-18 alone, my Department supported a total of 332 financial and related professional services projects, securing or safeguarding over 15,000 jobs in this country.We have launched four public consultations, to seek new Free Trade Agreements when we leave the European Union, with the United States, with Australia – [political line redacted] – to New Zealand, as well as the potential to seek accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP – which is always easier to say now than it is later in the day.Our new Export Strategy will help the UK climb the ranks of the 21st century’s great trading nations by encouraging, informing, connecting and facilitating finance for firms to realise their full exporting potential, and that is particularly true for SMEs where we need to find new exporters.In addition to this, we continue to work with key economic partners around the world.For example, I was recently delighted to address Qatar Day, which highlighted the mutual opportunities for business across asset management, cyber security, capital markets, sustainable finance and FinTech, for UK and Qatari companies. Qatar incidentally has over £35 billion of investment in the UK, much of which is here in London.And FinTech is at the heart of our global technology and innovation strategy and our growth agenda.That’s why we are continuing to roll out our FinTech Bridges – links between Governments, regulators and private sectors – in priority global markets, from Singapore to China, from Hong Kong to Australia, where we launched our FinTech Bridge Pilot Programme last month.And these Bridges will promote regulatory cooperation to reduce barriers to entry in one another’s markets.We are also working to leverage the UK’s unique expertise and capacities to assist development in emerging economies. For example, in January my team visited Latin America to discuss how the UK’s insurance and risk modelling knowhow might help these emerging economies adapt and mitigate against the effects of climate change.And both the UK Government and industry are developing an international road map for greening the financial system.And my Department will be key to helping leverage UK expertise to combat climate change through Green Finance, in which the UK is – yet again – a world leader. The Government is also working with the London Stock Exchange and the wider capital markets community to target local currency bond issuances.Just last Friday, the Indian state of Kerala issued the first sub-sovereign level bond for developing infrastructure in the UK, following in the steps of countries like Indonesia who did the same last year, showcasing once again the contribution the City is making to finance infrastructure worldwide and contributing to our international development agenda, a fact that is not nearly widely enough understood.4. ConclusionI know there are many people who are concerned that Brexit means Britain turning in on itself and becoming more introspective.Nothing could be further from the truth.As we leave the European Union we will become more open to the world, not less, and more open to the great opportunities that lie beyond European shores. The financial sector and its related professional services will be at the centre of these new opportunities.Never before have prospects globally been so great. Yes of course there are challenges, as there always have been.But I can assure you that the British Government stands ready to help you seize these opportunities, to make our financial sector’s future even brighter than the past has been.… accelerating financial inclusion by giving people better tools to save, to manage, to borrow and invest their money…… supporting the financial products, technical expertise and experience needed to grow developing economies, which will be in all our interests…… and building a more stable, secure and prosperous future, both for the United Kingdom and our partners around the world.We have a great opportunity to shape the world around us. In fact, we always have a binary choice: to shape the world around us, or be shaped by the world around us. We must have the confidence and courage to do that shaping. The City has led the charge before. It will do so again.Thank you.last_img read more

Georgia Christmas trees

first_imgTo accommodate for growing interest in Christmas trees, Georgia imports about 50 percent of its trees every year. The primary tree grown in Georgia for Christmas is the cypress. “I’d say people are buying trees again,” Czarnota said. “I think we go through these periods where people want to buy plastic trees and then turn around and want to buy live, cut trees.” Czarnota, whose research area includes Christmas trees, also points to retirees who have quit the business due to their age and the desire to take it easy.. A UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences horticulturist attributes some of the lost acres to the “economic boom back in the early 2000s.” Operating a Christmas tree farm is a time-consuming process that involves planting trees and making sure they get established. Farmers also have to mow grass, trim trees and apply pest control. And new tree farmers have to wait four or five years before their first batch is ready to be harvested. Christmas tree acreage throughout the state has dropped to 1,629 acres, according to the latest data recorded in the University of Georgia 2012 Farm Gate Value Report. This is a considerable reduction from the 2,130 acres recorded two years ago and the 2,285 acres tallied in 2008. Czarnota says live-Christmas-tree buying trends are on the upswing. “A lot of people were selling their land off at $8,000-$10,000 an acre. What happened was a lot of those Christmas tree farms that were started in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s were set up around urban areas,” said Mark Czarnota, a weed scientist based on the UGA Griffin Campus. “We had an urban sprawl and that land became very valuable.” center_img Georgia Christmas tree growers are producing fewer trees but earning more for them. “You’ve got to be a patient person,” Smith said. Greg Smith, who owns 7G’s Farm in Jackson County, Ga., just outside of Athens, grows 30 acres of Christmas trees. He believes fewer younger farmers are starting out in the business. With fewer trees being grown, Christmas trees are a very valuable business in Georgia. In 2012, Christmas trees generated $9.9 million in farm gate value. That figure is way above the $3.7 million recorded in 2011. “I’m one of the younger people in the business, and I’m pressing 62 myself. There’s a lot of hard work involved in growing Christmas trees,” Smith said. According to the 2012 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, Morgan County produces the most Christmas trees, with 85 acres and a farm gate value of $595,000. Carroll County is second, with 80 acres and a farm gate value of $560,000.last_img read more

Why is Hollywood interested in football agencies?

first_imgHollywood stars Julia Roberts and Samuel L Jackson, plus Leicester's James MaddisonHollywood actor Julia Roberts is represented by the same agency as Leicester City’s James Maddison, while Samuel L Jackson’s representatives – ICM Partners – has also just bought into a football agencyOscar winner Julia Roberts and England footballer James Maddison may seem unlikely ‘team-mates’.But the major talent-spotters in the United States are getting increasingly involved in the football agency business – bringing actors and athletes under the same umbrella.- Advertisement – “We are aiming for a system of balanced and reasonable regulation, instead of the law of the jungle currently in place, with conflicts of interests rife and exorbitant ‘commissions’ being earned left and right,” it said.Given that description, the American agencies who look after the world’s biggest movie stars – with their own corporate image to protect – might want to avoid what appears to be a wild-west environment.The truth is, they are not.Last year, the Creative Artists Agency bought Base Soccer, marrying the organisations which look after the careers, among others, of Hollywood star Roberts and Leicester forward Maddison. On 8 October, another American talent agency – ICM Partners – bought Stellar in an even bigger, multi-million dollar deal.ICM looks after the careers of stars such as Samuel L Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres. Stellar – Jonathan Barnett’s agency – negotiated Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham from Real Madrid.“We are very familiar with negativity towards [football] agents,” says ICM chief executive Chris Silbermann. “I understand the perception and I get it that people see agents making a lot of money and some in the sport complaining about it. It is a rough-and-tumble business but I am comfortable with the reputations of the people I am dealing with.”Rather than the stereotypical view of agents merely pushing clients towards transfers from which they profit, Silbermann says the reality of what organisations such as his offer is vastly different.“We understand the power of celebrity and what to do with it,” Silbermann says. “The natural extension is to work with athletes because they are global icons in the way they have never been in the past. “Agencies that represent global icons at scale don’t exist anywhere else. We can open doors.”Silbermann has never met Bale. Barnett will continue to provide the football expertise and guide the careers of the Welshman and Stellar’s other clients, including Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.“My job is to make sure a player retires with enough money to know if they carry on working, it is because they want to, not because they have to,” says Barnett.“We spend a fortune helping these guys get to where they need to be. We have a full staff of social media people because we don’t want them just going off and doing it on their own.”Barnett says he would not engage in some of the tactics rival agencies employ in an effort to get their clients a better deal, but argues “as long as it is legal and ethical it is fine”.He does feel there are problems the industry needs to address, and is particularly unhappy about the number of players now being looked after by relatives.Barnett has been frustrated by Fifa’s approach too. In January, he joined Mendes and Mino Raiola – who represents Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba – at an agents’ conference to discuss the situation.On Mendes, he says: “He has done a fantastic job for Wolves, and in other areas he has done brilliantly also.”So far, there have been no talks over reform. On Thursday, Fifa outlined its proposals, which include commission being capped at 3% of a players’ salary.Barnett is unimpressed. He believes Fifa is trying to gain positive publicity by unfairly striking out at an easy target, and unless it changes its approach a court case is looming.“I would love myself and a couple of agents to sit down face to face with Fifa with a blank sheet of paper,” he says. “I am sure we can do something really spectacular that would help everybody.”Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds– Advertisement – In 2018, the Football League investigated Mendes’ relationship with Wolves and said it complied with their regulations.Elsewhere in the industry, though, there are widespread allegations of malpractice.Fifa, the sport’s world governing body, has vowed to step in and regulate – saying it wants to “eliminate or at least reduce the abusive and excessive practices” in football. – Advertisement –center_img The work of football agents remains a mystery to most, but their reason for being is obvious – in June, the Football Association revealed Premier League clubs had paid £263.3m to agents in the year from 1 February 2019.With such huge amounts of money has come increased scrutiny and significant questions.For instance, around the role of Jorge Mendes in Republic of Ireland defender Matt Doherty’s move from Wolves to Tottenham for £15m in August. Mendes is Doherty’s agent. And the agent of both clubs’ managers – Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo. Wolves’ owners Fosun, meanwhile, have a 20% stake in Mendes’ world-renowned Gestifute agency.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Alex Trebek’s Wife Jean Breaks Her Silence After His Death

first_img– Advertisement – Surrounded by love. Alex Trebek’s widow, Jean Trebek, spoke out for the first time since the Jeopardy! host lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.“My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity,” Jean, 57, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, November 11, alongside a photo from her and her late husband’s April 1990 wedding. “Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much. Many Blessings to all, Jean Trebek.”- Advertisement – Alex died at the age of 80 on Sunday, November 8, while surrounded by family and friends at home. He had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2019 and continued to host Jeopardy! for 18 months.Alex Trebek’s Wife Jean Breaks Her Silence After Jeopardy Host’s Death Shares Wedding PhotoJean Currivan Trebek and Alex Trebek Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP/Shutterstock“This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans,” the game show’s executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement on Sunday. “He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”The Daytime Emmy winner was last in the Jeopardy! studio on October 29, just 10 days before his death. His final episode is set to air on December 25. Producers have not yet announced a replacement host.- Advertisement – Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! Alex thanked Jean for being his primary caretaker during a joint interview in January, telling ABC News, “She has to deal with her worrying about my well-being. … I’m not always the most pleasant person to be around when I’m experiencing severe pain or depression, and she has to tread lightly around me.”The metaphysicist, with whom the TV veteran shared son Matthew, 30, and daughter Emily, 27, was quick to turn the conversation back to her love for Alex.“He certainly has a great intellect, but his heart is really beautiful, and I think that comes across through Jeopardy!” she said at the time. “As I’ve seen Alex grow over time, his self-awareness, his compassion has beamed, blossomed in such a beautiful way.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Cloudbet elevates crypto limits for Russian World Cup

first_img Related Articles Share Duma approves overhaul of Russian sports betting laws  July 23, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Fonbet builds betting experience through ‘Alice’ voice assistant July 7, 2020 Ilya Machavariani, Dentons – CIS regional dynamics will come to play prior to gambling take-off July 31, 2020 Share Bitcoin sportsbook, Cloudbet has detailed how it’s appealing to bitcoin betting whales at the Russian World Cup, with the introduction of high betting limits betting limits for the duration of the tournament.Affirming its approach of providing high crypto betting limits, Cloudbet is accepting wagers of up to 20BTC/140BCH on the World Cup Group and knockout stages, with limits rising to 100BTC/700BCH for the final in Moscow on July 15th [almost €600,000 at today’s exchange rate].Mirio Mella, Cloudbet’s Head of Acquisition commented on the offering: “With limits of 100BTC or 700BCH for the final, and 20BTC or 140BCH for the group and knockout Phase this could be the first World Cup in history where the highest betting limits are only available to those with bitcoin.” Not only are Cloudbet’s limits the highest within crypto betting – by some distance – they also dwarf the levels offered by established fiat sportsbooks. Such betting limits should satisfy the appetite for large wagers from the growing number of bitcoin high-rollers, and should any bettors want even greater exposure on the World Cup at Cloudbet, they can simply re-bet at the same amount.Though Bitcoin was born back in 2009, this year’s event in Russia is the first where World Cup bitcoin betting enters the mainstream. Cloudbet, established in 2013, is expecting unprecedented demand for those using football’s showpiece event as the perfect opportunity to join the bitcoin betting revolution.And it is bitcoin’s unique characteristics – such as low fees, fast transactions and no fraud – which enable Cloudbet to offer these kind of limits, in stark contrast to the policy of fiat books to limit the amount their players can bet or just shut down those who are successful.While Cloudbet’s upper limits undoubtedly appeal to bitcoin whales, the platform caters to all bitcoin bettors. New customers can bet with minimum World Cup stake requirements as low as 0.0001 BTC, and Cloudbet’s recently launched bitcoin betting blog offers helpful content to guide newbies through the world of crypto betting.last_img read more

First BiH’s Opponent revealed for the European Handball Championship

first_imgThe Handball team of Bosnia and Herzegovina will have its first match at the European Championship against Norway.The European Handball Federation has announced the European Championship 2020 Match Schedule in Austria, Sweden and Norway, and BiH team will open the competition with a match against the host.In the first round, BiH and Norway will meet on January 10th at 20:30, in the second round on January 12thwill play against Portugal, and in the final round of Group D on January 14th, they will play against France.Meetings are played in Norway’s Trondheim.In the second round there will be two top teams from each group, who will play in Vienna and Malmo, while the final part of the program is in Stockholm, Klix.ba news portal reports.Schedule and Hours of Group D1st round (10th): France – Portugal (18:15), BiH – Norway.2nd round (12. 1st): BiH – Portugal (16:00), France – Norway (18:15).Round 3 (14th): BiH – France (18:15), Portugal – Norway (20:30).last_img read more