Letter from The U.K.
“RESPONSIBLE CAPITALISM”, “MORAL MARKETS”, and – Goldman Sachs Bonuses
By Michael Faulkner, TPJ MAGAZINE
Something rather curious has been happening recently. Leading politicians, Tory, Lib Dem and Labour, have started talking about capitalism. It has happened before, but not for some time and then, referring to some particularly egregious example of corporate malfeasance, terms such as the “unacceptable face of capitalism” were used. Tory prime minister Edward Heath coined the phrase in 1973 to describe the activities of Lonrho chief executive Tiny Rowlands who had broken sanctions against the white racist Smith government of Rhodesia. Later, in 2004, Jim O’Donnell, managing director of BMW applied it to five directors of Phoenix Venture Holdings, the parent company of GM Rover, who had pocketed more than £16 million, even though the company had lost £89 million. The chairman and vice chairman were accused by Martin O’Neill, chairman of the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee, of using “financial sleight of hand” to line their own pockets and of failing to exercise good corporate governance.
LEFT: Tory PM Edward Heath’s “unacceptable face of capitalism” has now become the normal face of capitalism. Maybe there never was any other.