The city

The City still runs on nepotism

When Liz Truss says she wants to give tax cuts to the wealthiest, she thinks she is making a moral argument. The rich deserve to keep their money because they are the best and brightest among us. They have succeeded on their own merit and not because of their class, sex or ethnicity. This, she believes, is a Thatcherite view of society. But the crisis that her government has imposed on Britain is as much due to her misreading of modern history as of her economic illiteracy. Her support for the City rests on a misunderstanding of how Thatcherism transformed the top of British society, as a new and devastating

What tea with the WI taught me about responsible investment

Late-breaking exam results: many of the City’s top fund managers have failed a vital test of ‘stewardship’ — defined for this purpose as ‘the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society’. That mouthful comes from the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Stewardship Code; asset management firms seeking to become ‘signatories’ to the code were asked to submit essays describing their own investment principles, highlighting their approach to hot-button ‘ESG’ (environmental, social and governance) issues. Out of 189 applicants, 64 failed to reach the pass mark, while some major firms chose not to

The Liberal Democrats have a dangerous vision for the City of London

Liberals have always set great store by laws and declarations. It was joked about Lord Loreburn, the liberal Lord Chancellor in the years before the First World War, that if told the Germans had landed he would immediately have taken steps to obtain an interim injunction from the Chancery Division requiring an immediate withdrawal. These days something similar seems to be happening as regards the Liberal Democrats’ approach to climate change. Last Thursday Ed Davey took aim at the City, which he has decided to add to the party’s growing list of climate change villains. In a curious interview with the Guardian he put forward a modest proposal to deal

Money money money: 10 movies about the markets

The furore in the US over the rocketing shares of previously written off companies such as GameStop, Blackberry, AMC Entertainment and Macy’s (the ‘Reddit Revolt’) has introduced stock market trading terms to the general public, with some folks newly opining (with a patina of assumed knowledge) about ‘hedge funds’, ‘penny shares’, ‘junk bonds’ ‘short-selling’ and ‘pump and dump’. But this is hardly the first-time similar events have occurred. Way back in 1720 the ‘South Sea Bubble’ saw investors suckered when the South Sea Company collapsed as any hopes of generating income from its monopoly on selling slaves to South America (mostly controlled by Spain and Portugal) had come to nought, despite