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?