Market Leaders Pick Their Market Leader: Who is the economist with the sharpest eye in the Square Mile?

Steven Bell

Chief UK economist

Deutsche Bank

YOU NEED several qualities to stand out in the City. You require a distinctive view in financial markets and you have to outperform your fellow economists. It is important to be able to communicate your point; to market your view. But it is best not to go too far and become something of a sensationalist.

I am reminded of Frank Sinatra's view that success in showbiz is down to 95 per cent luck and 5 per cent talent - but don't bother trying if you haven't got the talent. For economists, it is important to have the talent, but the other 95 per cent is your firm and your marketing of yourself. Obviously you've got to be a brilliant economist, too.

I nominate Tim Congdon for his sheer intellectual honesty and the fact that he consistently makes good calls on the market. I cannot miss out Gavyn Davies, partly because he thinks the same way as me, but also because he is very good at applying solid economics to practical issues.

Gavyn Davies

Chief international economist

Goldman Sachs

EXCLUDING MY current colleagues, I would like to nominate David Morrison and Jeremy Hale, now at Paribas. Having long worked with both of them, I can attest to their outstanding talents. Another former colleague, Sushil Wadhwani, at Tudor Investment, is a superb economist who has written an outstanding - if pessimistic - study of the bull market in US stocks for the National Institute.

Also, on the buy side, I have always admired both Bill Martin of Phillips and Drew, and Michael Hughes of Barings.

Finally, how can one overlook the magnificent Mervyn King at the Bank of England, the toughest competitor that private sector City economists (fortu- nately) never had.

Tim Congdon

Managing director

Lombard Street Research

I AM particularly in sympathy with Paul Turnbull at Merrill Lynch and David Smith at Williams de Broe. Like Gordon Pepper in the 1970s, they recognise that the behaviour of the money supply is crucial to the economic outlook and have a good forecasting record to prove it.

Gavyn Davies is, of course, unique. Not only is he highly rated by the institutions, but he also has immense influence with the present Government. His work is always comprehensive, well-argued and intelligent, although I am not sure he has really understood the crucial role of money and banking in the economy.

Michael Hughes

Director

Barings Asset Management

There are people who work well for the non-financial, non-City client; there are those who are ideal for the trading desk; and there are those whose work particularly suits the strategists, the fund managers.

For the client who is not enormously financially clued up, I would say that Roger Bootle is the perfect City economist thanks to his excellent communication skills.

For the traders, it is important that the economist is able to establish a fair value for the financial markets. Gavyn Davies and Tim Congdon are particularly good at this. For the fund-manager audience, their economist needs to have a very good feel for and be a particularly good judge of the market. Tony Plummer at Guinness Flight Hambro is a fine example of this type of economist.

Roger Bootle

Managing director

Capital Economics

AN ECONOMIST I greatly admire is Tim Congdon of Lombard Street. His qualities are multifarious: he is original, forthright and completely unafraid of differing from the consensus.

If you are managing money, it is important to listen to a spread of independent ideas from people who are capable of taking a radical view. My nominee fits into this category. He may get it wrong sometimes but, if I were managing money, I would want to listen to him.

Bronwyn Curtis

Former chief economist

Nomura International

I ADMIRE two or three economists for different reasons. There is Brian Reading at Lombard Street whom I admire for his thought-provoking idiosyncratic approach. He always comes up with interesting ideas. I do not agree with him on some things, though, particularly Europe. But he is always worth reading on international financial issues.

I also single out Richard Portes of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, who singlehandedly regenerated work on European and UK policy issues. He stands out because he is able to apply acade- mic work to economic policy. Furthermore, he is interesting and useful to the decision makers.

David Mackie

Vice-president, European

economic analysis

JP Morgan

IF I HAD to nominate two economists who stood out from the crowd, I would choose Martin Brookes of Goldman Sachs and Tim Congdon of Lombard Street.

I choose Martin because he is bright, insightful and one of the more thoughtful economists I know. He likes to look at the bigger issues and long-term picture. As for Tim, he, too, is a man who engages in the wider picture. Equally important, his reports are interesting. Funnily enough, I rarely agree with him and I do not admire him ideologically but, as a City economist, he is worth reading.

Marian Bell

Head of Treasury Research

Royal Bank of Scotland

FIRST AND foremost a good City economist must be a good economist. Lehman's have a good team, with global chief economist John Llewellyn and Russell Jones in Tokyo. I would also cite Gerard Lyons of DKB and James Stewart of Weavering Capital. Some economists can suffer from analysis paralysis and a failure to reach a conclusion. The City requires its economists to have a view. A strong framework to make sense of the world helps.

Tim Congdon at Lombard Street Research has been a leader in promoting the importance of the money supply as an indicator.

Stephen Lewis

Chief economist

Monument Derivatives

THERE ARE three City economists who stand out immediately. The first is Gerard Lyons who is quite a good economist who has steady judgement. Then I'd pick out Avinash Persaud from JP Morgan. He is a very fine communicator, which is essential for the economist.

A particularly valuable attribute is the ability to pick out key trends, and Peter Wann of Cazenove certainly has this.

Adam Cole

UK economist

HSBC

WELL THE only true objective assessment of how competent an economist is would be the surveys of the client base, such as the Extel and Reuters ones. They tend to be really ruthless measures of performance. But getting it right in terms of forecast numbers is not the end of the game. Really it's barely even the start.

For me, the places with the best City economist teams are Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. These are the economists who rate consistently and solidly in the surveys. If I were to have to pick a team of economists I'd pick either Merrill Lynch's, led by Paul Turnbull, or DKB's, led by David Owen.

I pick DKB because everything they do, they do well. Their clients are immensely pleased with their work. Merrill Lynch stands out for the accessibility of the reports. They are easy to read and easy to digest.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific