When a corporation is unable to meet valid claims, control passes to the holders of these claims in a legally defined order of priority. But, as finance has grown more complex, these rules have come to look more shaky; they can falter dangerously in modern banking or in the case of a struggling retail business such as BHS.
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15 June 2016, Financial Times
04 May 2016, Financial Times
Buffett’s method is to find well-run companies and give them more freedom than they would enjoy on public markets. Yet other conglomerates use financial engineering and impose “transferable” management skills.
13 April 2016, Financial Times
Recent stumbles by Bernie Sanders illustrate a misdirection in his attack on the banking establishment. The central problem is not so much “too big to fail” but “too complex to fail”.
27 January 2016, Financial Times
Uber’s superior service threatens London’s black-cab drivers, just as (my namesake) John Kay’s flying shuttle eventually led to rebellion by out-of-work Luddites in the 19th century. The losers from such innovations should in some circumstances be compensated. But restricting competition is against the public interest.
25 November 2015, Financial Times
British regulators have finally published their report into HBOS, the bank formed from the merger of Halifax with Bank of Scotland, more than seven years after its collapse. The 600-odd pages contain much detail on events and personalities. But there are general lessons for all businesses. Avoid the diversifier’s fallacy. Beware the winner’s curse. Fear adverse selection.
14 October 2015, Financial Times
Retailers have recently complained about the level of business rates. However, were this property tax is reduced their joy will be short lived. Business rates are both a tax on land and a tax on structures, and in the longer term all we would see is higher property values and rents, especially in prime locations.
30 September 2015, Financial Times
The Savoy Group and Google both adopted share structures that give individuals disproprtionately greater voting rights than their diverse set of shareholders. It has worked well for these companies and their investors over the long run. Perhaps we should reopen the debate over share structures?
13 May 2015, Financial Times
The UK’s Labour Party failed to provide a convincing economic narrative and duly lost the 2015 general election. In future it would do well to recognise the role it can play in promoting good corporations; reestablishing the political and social legitimacy of the market economy.
04 March 2015, Financial Times
Michael Porter warned on the danger of being “stuck in the middle”. Companies, he said, must either gain a cost advantage or emphasise product differentiation. But what really matters is enjoying a competitive advantage in the market position you choose.
13 August 2014, Financial Times
Established companies in all industries are inhibited in their response to radical change by vested interests inherent in their existing business models. Now, in publishing, it’s time for the author to be placed where he or she should be – in charge.
28 August 2007, Financial Times
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