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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.

Equitable Life’s lessons for the bank crisis

We seek regulators more competent than their private sector counterparts, we ask them to review not just procedure but also strategy, we expect the taxpayer to take financial responsibility for their failures. There is a name for that policy. It is nationalisation.

We let down diligent folk at the Halifax

John returns to his experience as a Halifax director to retrace the rocky road to last week's rescue takeover.

Beware the personality cult in democracies

European companies are increasingly imitating US ones in the cult and remuneration of chief executives. Political organisation may evolve similarly as party membership declines and ideology fades.

Rock’s fate should not be a game of chicken

The chicken game, which frequently ends in tragedy or folly, is a game for movie-going teenagers, not grown-ups.

London deserves better than Crossrail

The imperative requirement is for processes that both require and allow elected politicians to make choices and implement them.

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