Author Archives: John Hann

The Conservatives’ honeymoon period will be short

As Ed Davey has said in a speech reported on this website, “if Brexit has taught us anything, it is that there are many serious divisions to fix. The UK is divided by inequality”.

And he added that those who voted for Brexit did so “because your communities have been let down for decades. Because Governments have ignored you”.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 29 Comments

Financialization, Manufacturing and Public Services

To most of us who are not economists or in government, it is regarded as common sense that we need manufacturing and other producing businesses to pay for public services.

The financial sector, which includes insurance, pensions, accountancy and retail banking is a valuable part of the UK economy.

However, there are serious concerns that the casino banking sector is extracting rather than producing wealth, and that it is harming rather than benefiting the economy.

One of the concerns relates to the huge level of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, which means that UK companies can easily be taken over by foreign companies. There is a theory that it does not matter who owns UK companies, only how they are run. This is wrong. Inevitably, and this may take decades, manufacturing is moved abroad.

The other, just as serious, the problem with the open market in UK companies is that the continual threat of hostile takeovers deters long-term investment.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged | 14 Comments

Financialization – the reason why the vote was for Brexit

The referendum result came as a surprise to most people who naturally assumed that the electorate would seek to avoid the risks of change.

However, as the Prime Minister has been reported as saying “Leave supporters were not just voting against Europe but were delivering a cry of frustration about a range of problems afflicting British Society … Top among these concerns was the widening gap between working class voters who saw their wages stagnate…”

The loss of millions of well-paid jobs in manufacturing has been caused by the extreme financialization of the UK economy that has occurred over the last 35 years.

Financialization is the process whereby financial markets, and financial elites, gain greater influence not only over other sectors of the economy, but also over the economic policy of the country.

The financial sector has successfully resisted any attempts to restrict the UK’s takeover system. This has decimated the manufacturing sector while earning huge revenues for London and its financial sector. It is no coincidence that London voted Remain, while the former manufacturing regions voted Leave.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 23 Comments

Opinion: The UK’s takeover laws and short-termism

London Stock Exchange photo by Jam_90s

In the rest of the world hostile takeovers are uncommon or even unknown. Britain is alone in its belief in the benefit of hostile takeovers, a belief which is not supported by the evidence of its large current account and fiscal deficits.

Vince Cable on 13th July wrote on this website that changes are needed to Britain’s takeover laws.  However, the problem is that Britain, unlike for instance Germany and the USA, doesn’t really have any takeover laws.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Recent Comments

  • Chris Moore
    @Paul: the Oxford result isn't a Green gain. A Green councillor resigned to cause the by-election. (S/he was first elected in 2022.) It's a three member ward...
  • David Raw
    Argyll & Bute had successive Liberal/Lib Dem MPs for twenty eight years as recently as between 1987 and 2015....
  • David Le Grice
    TBF that first Newham result actually is impressive since the greens have recently come ahead of us by default in urban areas and Newham isn't even one of those...
  • Paul Barker
    That Oxford result is a Green gain, from Labour....
  • Ruth Bright
    Just to elaborate...In the last few minutes of the morning session Swinson explains how she was pushing and pushing to see the Second Sight report. The enquiry ...