Short-termism condemned by the former leader of Britain’s bosses
Richard Lambert had an excellent (trans: I agreed with it) column in the Financial Times today, arguing for government intervention to reduce short-termism in corporate investment. Even the foot of the article was fascinating, as the author was described as “chancellor of the University of Warwick, and a former editor of the Financial Times”, suggesting that the job he did in between – CBI Director-General – was airbrushed out in much the same way as some people’s CVs regularly omit a jail term!
Seriously, he recounted the evidence that short-termism is bad for business, increasingly prevalent and an almost uniquely British disease. And he suggested a range of rather general policy solutions (including, in code so deep I may be wrong to ascribe it to him, a Robin Hood Tax to disincentivise short-term share trading). More specificity would be welcome, but maybe that would be too much too soon. Serious debate about tackling short-termism is long overdue but as urgent as ever.