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Drug companies are built in labs, not boardrooms

The history of ICI and the British pharmaceutical industry may provide some pointers to show how shareholders and policymakers should react to Pfizer’s bid for Astra Zeneca.

Time for the Big Society to get down to the nitty-gritty

A small fraction of the ingenuity devoted to the construction of complex financial instruments that no one should want could advantageously be applied to the construction of less complex instruments that meet the needs of the Big Society.

How to spot a good from a bad quango

Good quangos have specific technical expertise and their purpose is to take issues out of politics. Bad quangos have no distinctive skills and are designed to put issues into politics.

Robber barons of the Rhine

The distinction between the creation and the appropriation of wealth is vital, if not always clear. But our ability to recognise it will determine, not just the fate of individuals, but the future of modern capitalism.

We should all have a say in how banks are reformed

More competition and a reduction of the conflicts of interest between different financial services activities is the antidote to gouging. The separation of retail and investment banking would begin a move away from the transaction-focused, sales-driven culture of recent years and reassert the development of long-term relationships with customers.

How the market proved no panacea for BT

If you aim to create a dynamic, successful business, a state-owned utility is not the place to start.

Too big to fail? Wall Street, we have a problem

We should learn lessons from the Apollo programme and the people who design our television sets. Modular constructions are more robust.

Our banks are beyond the control of mere mortals

Great and enduringly successful organisations are not stages on which geniuses can strut. They are structures that make the most of the ordinary talents of ordinary people.

How the competent bankers can be assisted

No one wants bank managers to be replaced by civil servants. But there are a lot of perfectly competent bank managers out there, even if there are a lot of incompetent bank executives.

A passive approach to bank stakes is inadequate

The primary purpose of government investment in financial institutions is not to ensure that the taxpayer gets its money back – although that issue should certainly not be neglected – but to ensure that ordinary banking functions operate well.