Wee Willy Hutton

He\’s finally gone off the rails. Quite barking.

First and foremost we need the markets to value what business values. Shareholders should only win rights to dividends and votes in British quoted companies by signing a newly initiated declaration of the firm\’s purpose which they are legally obliged to uphold.

If we\’re to be persnikkety about this we might point out that shareholders are the owners of those businesses. What Hutton is suggesting is that those ownership rights be stripped from them. Quite apart from the issue of who is to pay the compensation which would be rightfully due, there\’s the point that you don\’t in fact improve markets and their functioning by abandoning the concept of property rights.

All mergers and takeovers should meet both this purpose and public interest safeguards.

Public interest safeguards? Seriously? We get a committee of bureaucrats to oversee the capital markets? You can only take over a company if the bureaucracy thinks it a good idea?

D\’ye think it\’s about time the Observer sprung for a nurse for Our Wee Wullie?

4 thoughts on “Wee Willy Hutton”

  1. Sheesh. He is really in the Polly end of the spectrum. I remember him wailing on R4 after both parties (in different ways and to very different degrees) went cool on inheritance tax. He wanted us to believe there was something inherently “moral” about high taxation. What a t*sser.

  2. hang on – the directors have to sign up to a memorandum and articles of association, which explain what the company is about. In a private company, the directors and owners tend to be the same. It is when you get into the realms of the joint stock company that things get blurred. As a shareholder, you kind of hope that the directors are complying with the mem and arts but English company law gives you almost no means of ensuring that they do. He does have a point if he is being ultra-technical here – what’s the case Foss and Harbottle?

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