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This time it’s different?

Chief executives shoring up battered finances take a new interest in retail investors The surge of retail investors into stock markets as prices tanked is one of the more unexpected results of worldwide lockdowns. From India to the US, Australiato the...

F*** The Corporate

Could the anti-racist protests demonstrate a new normal that companies need to prepare for? On a call with a client this week, I witnessed a black member of the corporate communications team’s raw anger at the way her company had responded...

False Idols

For an administration that once derided experts, the Government’s reliance on scientific advice through the C-19 crisis has marked a stunning revision.  Whether it’s Boris Johnson’s supplication to be ‘guided by the science’ or the flanking of ministers by the...

Covid-1984

Has society been infantilised by the state’s actions during the pandemic? In his essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that the only reason state power can be rightfully exercised over another member of society against their will is to “prevent...

Supermarket Sweep

In face of extraordinary operational pressures following the onslaught of Covid-19, most of the UK supermarkets have been sticking to the go-to maxim for brands in a national crisis:  “if you haven’t got anything supportive to say, don’t say it.” As...

Simples!

Every time I go outside for a shop, I am greeted by the spectre of the BT Tower reminding me to stay at home. It is a simple message. One which the UK public has understood clearly, for the most part....

Fantasy Premier League

The moral limits of markets The free market is an economic system based on supply and demand with limited government control. Few businesses have benefited from the embrace of market principles as much as the Premier League. The broadcasting rights alone of...

Why do we fall, Master Wayne?

It has been a difficult week where individuals and families have had to pick themselves up and adjust to the new environment. And it has been challenging for companies, experiencing the problems with dealing with workforce welfare, operational problems related...

‘Let us go forward together’

As the UK Chancellor prepares the biggest peacetime package of economic assistance this country has ever known, shrill pleas for aid from the business community will be ringing in his ears.  But as business fixates on what the country can...

RBS chief exec Alison Rose

Banking on goodwill

RBS's new boss banks goodwill in a crisis It's said that every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. For ten years RBS bosses laboured under the spectre of Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin, whose decisions put the bank...

The part-time CEO

Aristotle’s golden mean is a philosophical principle which suggests that the right course of action in a given situation is always the middle way between two extremes. For example, too much or too little courage is not good, one must...

Ring o’ Roses

In Albert Camus’ novel La Peste, a fictitious city in North Africa is quarantined due to an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague. Authorities dictate that newspapers rally the populace with the (fake) news that the pestilence is under control. If the...

Active investors: rise of the machines

The automation revolution was supposed to come for Lincolnshire fruit pickers, not Mayfair stock pickers. Yet this week saw further evidence of the accelerating shake-out in the active fund management sector, driven by the march of the machines.  Merian Global...

Power to the People?

People - not regulators - are best placed to clean up the web The internet’s great promise was to free information and control from institutions, and put it into the hands of people. It was originally driven by what economist Shane...

It’s my way, or the Huawei

Last week the British government granted Chinese tech giant, Huawei, a licence to supply the country with 5G network technology. This, despite national security concerns and furious lobbying by the US, for whom Huawei has become a pawn in President...

Ear Today, gone tomorrow?

The Times' decision this week to launch a new radio station targeting “disenfranchised” BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live listeners was news to make BBC bosses’ ears bleed, already roiled by job cuts and falling listener numbers. The explosion of political news in...