A New Index: Hack-dex

Having become a financial journalist in the distant, halcyon days of the mid-2000s, life then consisted of corporate events, lunches, cocktails and rarely any journalism. It was like the Great Gatsby, but with less suicide and more alcohol. But then the music stopped, and I finally had something to write about. I also had a lot fewer lunches to go to. The Sancerre dried up, and the ink flowed. This wasnt what journalism was about, was it?I started to wonder when things would get better, when things would return to normal, and while they may continue to debate what normal means in the op-ed columns of the business press, normal to me means free lunch. But the lunches and corporate events have begun to pick up of late. Tennis has been watched, in a Pimms-induced trance. There is a regatta to go to, and invitations to new restaurants are trickling back. This is a much better indication of green shoots than any fudged government statistic.Perhaps an index could be created to measure the true fiscal state of financial services. Let us start at 100 base points. A standard two-course lunch earns 5 bp. A lunch that exceeds 2 hours earns 15 bp. An invitation to a sporting event earns 50 bp. But if any Australian wine is served then points will be taken away. 1 bp will also be taken away for every time the crisis is mentioned.There will be a massive bp penalty if the bank putting on the entertainment is in receipt of public funds, because that would be taking the 'free' out of free lunch.Please comment or email and ideas to develop the index to gturner@www.globalcustodian.com Business partners are welcome.