Sir Mervyn King’s last appearance at the annual bash in the Mansion House, known officially as the Lord Mayor’s banquet for the merchants and bankers of the City of London on Wednesday evening, was neither as warm nor as emotional as I expected – clearly the Governor’s persistent and well-directed criticism of banks has somewhat soured the relationship.
However Sir Mervyn did hit the mark with a generous tribute to the Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, who has been one of the harder working and better ambassadors for the City on his promotional trips overseas.
An Arabic-speaking friend of mine says he encountered him at an official reception in a Gulf state. The local sheik was overheard to say: “What has he done to his hair? It is a different colour.”
Selling the City’s services after the turmoil of the past few years must be tough enough without finding your hosts threw the lavish party because they thought they were meeting Boris.