The final volume of this detailed history of Ferranti covers the last seven years of its operating existence, starting with the 1987 merger with ISC and culminating in a humiliating demise consequent upon GEC’s 1993 decision to withdraw its bid for what by then was an unprofitable rump. Extensive attention is paid to the way in which ISC evolved under James Guerin’s stewardship, providing insights into the shady world of international covert arms dealing. While in 1987 Ferranti purchased what was regarded as a highly profitable defence electronics business, by 1989 it was apparent that ISC’s net worth was marginal, creating an accounting hole in what by then was Ferranti International from which it never recovered, in spite of highly imaginative strategies enacted by a new chief executive, Eugene Anderson. The book provides detailed insights into international mergers, corporate governance issues and defence electronics that highlight the dangers associated with competing in one of the fastest-moving industries of that era.
9 Monitoring Value
Corporategovernance after 2002
The purpose of this chapter is to consider who should have been responsible for keeping an eye on the value of assets in which Lehman Brothers chose to invest heavily, and on its risk management procedures. Lehman's board, as any other board, would have been expected to monitor the company in accordance with corporategovernance requirements. The first question therefore is: what exactly was the Lehman board expected, indeed, required to do. The other two questions are
and Oughton, 1999).
More recently, two further peculiarities of professional football leagues
have become apparent. The first concerns the nature and role of match-going
supporters in the production of live football matches and issues in corporategovernance, while the second concerns the vertical production relationship
between football clubs and, on the one hand, the league and, on the other,
In the UK, football, the largest professional league sport, has traditionally
been regulated by the Football Association, the Football League and
Crises and co-operative credibility – some international and historical examples
Anthony Webster, Linda Shaw, Rachael Vorberg-Rugh, John F. Wilson, and Ian Snaith
use of experienced independent nonexecutive directors at board level to critically appraise management performance
Crises and co-operative credibility
and proposals. Recommendations of the 1994 Co-operative Union
Governance Working Group, regarding the inclusion of both the Chief
Executive and the Finance Director as board members, and in both the
1994 and 2005 CorporateGovernance Review Group reports for consideration of the inclusion of appointed outside directors, if additional
skills were needed in the board room, were largely ignored by societies.35
Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.
This book explains the direct link between the structure of the corporation and its limitless capacity for ecological destruction. It argues that we need to find the most effective means of ending the corporation’s death grip over us. The corporation is a problem, not merely because it devours natural resources, pollutes and accelerates the carbon economy. As this book argues, the constitutional structure of the corporation eradicates the possibility that we can put the protection of the planet before profit. A fight to get rid of the corporations that have brought us to this point may seem an impossible task at the moment, but it is necessary for our survival. It is hardly radical to suggest that if something is killing us, we should over-power it and make it stop. We need to kill the corporation before it kills us.
The well-being of Europe’s citizens depends less on individual consumption and more on their social consumption of essential goods and services – from water and retail banking to schools and care homes – in what we call the foundational economy. Individual consumption depends on market income, while foundational consumption depends on social infrastructure and delivery systems of networks and branches, which are neither created nor renewed automatically, even as incomes increase. This historically created foundational economy has been wrecked in the last generation by privatisation, outsourcing, franchising and the widespread penetration of opportunistic and predatory business models. The distinctive, primary role of public policy should therefore be to secure the supply of basic services for all citizens (not a quantum of economic growth and jobs). Reconstructing the foundational has to start with a vision of citizenship that identifies foundational entitlements as the conditions for dignified human development, and likewise has to depend on treating the business enterprises central to the foundational economy as juridical persons with claims to entitlements but also with responsibilities and duties. If the aim is citizen well-being and flourishing for the many not the few, then European politics at regional, national and EU level needs to be refocused on foundational consumption and securing universal minimum access and quality. If/when government is unresponsive, the impetus for change has to come from engaging citizens locally and regionally in actions which break with the top down politics of ‘vote for us and we will do this for you’.
specialised system of corporate enforcement
dedicated to achieving high levels of corporate compliance. Designing such
a system would have required an interest in issues of commercial regulation which was not apparent, a knowledge of corporategovernance that the
State did not have, and a familiarity with corporate activity that was simply
beyond its experience. It is therefore understandable that the State was unable
to engage in discourse about whether the criminal justice system, which was
orientated to tackle morally reprehensible ‘street crime’, would be effective in
Ibid. Cf. also Bennet Berger and Elena Vaccarino, “Codetermination in Germany – a role model for the UK and the US? Bruegel , 13 October 2016. http://bruegel.org/2016/10/codetermination-in-germany-a-role-model-for-the-uk-and-the-us/ (accessed 13 January 2018).
29 Guy Chazan, “Theresa May looks to Germany for board reform,” Financial Times , 11 July 2016. www.ft.com/content/3d70421e-4759–11e6-b387–64ab0a67014c (accessed 12 January 2018).
30 “The Guardian view on corporategovernance reform: Be stronger, not weaker,” Guardian , 29 August 2017. www
State, poor economic policies (particularly those relating to protectionism),
the romanticisation of rural Ireland and political deference to the agricultural
sector reduced Ireland to an impoverished State with low levels of corporate
activity. In this context, Ireland was inward-looking, concerned more with selfsufficiency rather than attracting investment and promoting enterprise that
could compete with players on an international level. Concerns with corporate
deviancy and public corporategovernance were not significant issues that had
to be pursued