At the end of the developing market panel, Deutsche Bank’s structured commodity finance luminary John ‘Mac’ MacNamara stood up on stage in front of a packed-out conference hall filled with his peers, investors and probably a few clients, and announced that he was going to perform 16 press-ups.
He then did so — apparently without breaking a sweat — to cheers from the loan market crowd, who are usually fairly reserved (at that time of day).
“Once a marine, always a marine,” said a delegate sitting beside Loan Ranger, referencing Mac’s service in the 1980s.
The reason for this display of pectoral strength was not just manly pride, however. Mac has a mission. He is doing the “16 press-ups in 16 days challenge”, an exercise (ha!) in drawing attention to mental health issues, in particular suicide, and why it is always better to talk about things.
The idea was created by the 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines — the elite UK fighting force. Sadly, 16 members of the brigade, which is about 1,800 strong, have committed suicide since the Afghanistan conflict.
To give us all the chance to laugh at our bosses huffing their way through the first press-ups they have done since New Labour was in power, the challenge is to do 16 press-ups a day for 16 days, and nominate someone new to complete the challenge each day. Mac picked on one of his fellow panellists.
As the whole point is to get people talking about what has always been a tricky subject, you need to do it as publicly as possible, film it and post it to whatever social media you use.
The day after Mac rattled out 16 push-ups at the QEII Centre in Westminster, Loan Ranger has it on good authority that he did the next day’s set on the shores of Lake Lugano, Switzerland.
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