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Be brave having a view from the top

…with HSBC’s chief economist, Mark Berrisford-Smith

Brexit? Crisis? Recession again? All these words keep buzzing our minds and HSBC UK was kind enough to put us at ease…well, ish!
Mark Berrisford-Smith reminded us of the importance of a balanced perspective even in the most disputed topic across the UK like Brexit.  

He didn’t shy away from discussing politics, albeit in a detached manner before getting into the UK’s financial and commercial picture. As an extremely eloquent speaker with an incisive view of how economics are interrelated with politics, he presented complex concepts and gloomy scenarios compellingly.  An amazing story-teller even for the hardest issues like the bank’s credit risk.

He tried to simplify and engage the audience with his presentation by focusing on the marketing sector for some actionable take-aways.
He highlighted that there will be a recession in the post-Brexit stage but not a deep one. A sigh of relief then?

Yet, he managed to talk about emerging trends that concern us all like de-globalisation or slow-balisation.  He carefully depicted the contribution of geopolitics to economic growth.

If there is something that a brave marketer should think now is to be brave not just with the detail but also with the bigger picture.  To a certain extent, a balanced perspective nowadays is much more needed to plan strategically rather than having a knee-jerk reaction that will be detrimental to achieve the long-term business success.

What are the take-aways?

  1. Business Implications: The cost of ‘money’ will become lower over the long-term that will trigger a higher dependency on borrowing and a reluctance on tactical bail-out plans. The investment opportunities need be identified and the companies need some facilitation as to where to invest and why to invest?  But today the ‘how to invest’ question is a much bigger challenge. Regulation will play an even more significant role in shaping business decisions and some industries will become more regulated than others. The trade tariffs will be single-digit and the impact of these changes can be minimised by the commercial players having a flexible discount structure that can absorb the trade tariff fluctuations.
  2. Marketing Decisions: There are now global brands that cannot work now in a gradually de-globalised environment while the big-ticket items won’t perform as successfully as in the past. The service economy is the backbone of the UK’s GDP growth in spite of the usual cost-cutting plans in marketing resources that follow any recession.
  3. Global Themes: The trade hubs like Japan, Germany, Singapore will have a recession too that signals a different development aside from the US-China trade war.

Mark inspired us to develop a balanced view and be brave enough to accept all scenarios. He stood up in front of an audience that wanted to give back to him much more than an extended round of applauses.  He stood much higher up for us just because he was generous enough to share his view from the top.

Thank you Mark and HSBC UK!