Murphy Saves Us!

No, really, he does. He\’s got this great idea.

The government should demand board seats in return for the injections of capital. And those seats shouldn\’t go to people who know about banking, oh no.

There’s a final point: make sure the new non-execs are people who can carry through the process of change. Appoint people like Prem Sikka, seasoned MPs like Frank Field, old hands like Will Hutton, journalists like Larry Elliot. This is not the moment for ‘jobs for the boys’.

An accounting professor (with some remarkably strange ideas), a politician and two journalists? This is to solve our banking crisis?

18 thoughts on “Murphy Saves Us!”

  1. This is not the moment for ‘jobs for the boys’.

    That looks very much like ‘jobs for the boys’ to me, just a different set of ‘boys’.

    Anyway, shouldn’t he have at least one woman on the list? To be fair, he appears to have ticked the ‘Ethnic minority’ box.

  2. “Anyway, shouldn’t he have at least one woman on the list?”

    Polly Toynbee? After all, since all this kicked off because of inequality, and she’s the Equality Czarina, we’d never have problems again, would we?

  3. BlacquesJacquesShellacques

    Journalists on the board. Brilliant. Journalists should also be appointed as generals, for as Robert E. Lee said:

    “It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers! In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I’m readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I’ll, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials.”

    Those who can, do.
    Those who cannot, teach.
    Those who cannot even teach, become journalists and write about it.

  4. Given how badly governance has failed in the banks I don’t see why giving a large external investor representation on the board is a bad idea, at least in the short term. Dispersed external shareholders obviously didn’t provide the necessary oversight, so perhaps board representation is worth a try.

    And since when have non-execs on most boards of public companies been expected to be experts about the industry the company operates in?Politicians on boards? What next – Ken Clarke on the board of a tobacco company? You even get the odd journo on boards. John Plender at Quintain for example.

    All these points could be applied to a number of public companies as they stand.

  5. I don’t know its such a bad idea in principal. See “wisdom of crowds”. The board should have people of different backgrounds (so no more than one journalist, politician, etc.) and all should have an interest in success (say they are required to invest a percentage of their own money to be returned with a profit in the case of success, not at all otherwise.

  6. Tom P and Pat

    remember that the chairman of Northern Rock was a famous science writer – Matt Ridley. Does that not undermine your thesis?

  7. I haven’t got a thesis – just making the point that the arguments against Richard Murphy’s idea apply equally to public companies (including Northern Rock as you say). So if the points against are valid perhaps that should lead us to consider whether the public company model is itself flawed, but suspect that wasn’t the intention of the post.

    More broadly I don’t really have a problem with a large investor having board representation. It already happens with some infrastructure investments, and with private equity so what’s the big deal? There’s been a huge governance failure here. Trying out some new ideas seems worthwhile to me.

  8. As Marks says, always when a Socialist talks of “Jobs for the boys” they are only upset it is not one of THEIR boys. They disingenuously talk of getting rid of the elite when in truth all they want is for themselves to replace the elite.

  9. always when a Socialist talks of “Jobs for the boys” they are only upset it is not one of THEIR boys

    As usual with this kind of rant, you could change “socialist” to “Tory” (see: every rant about quangos post-1997; compare with: every rant about quangos pre-1997) and be equally accurate.

  10. John B,

    “As usual with this kind of rant, you could change “socialist” to “Tory” ”

    You could indeed make that change and further, if you did so, everyone here would agree with you.

    Doesn’t make the point about socialists wrong though.

  11. I suspect some jealosy by Tim Worstall. I rather live ina world populated by the likes of Prem Sikka than the morons who ran banks or thsoe who provided the Thactherite ideologies.

    Just one quesion Time – doe you read anything or is your first instict to do charcater assasinations on anyone you think you don’t like.

    Tim adds: I’m entirely happy to share the world with Prem and any number of people who disagree with me. It’s rather the definition of being a liberal, actually. I just don’t want to be ruled by them.

    Prem has all sorts of ideas that I think, and I’m entirely happy to admit that I might be wrong on this, that’s the debate I’m interested in having, that will make us all, rich world and poor world people together, poorer. That’s why I attack him and his ideas, that I think he and his ideas wrong.

    You know, dialectic leading to synthesis and all that……

  12. Well, Tim is a nice person so I’ll do the character (in a different sense) assassination:

    I suspect some jealosy by Tim Worstall. I rather live ina world populated by the likes of Prem Sikka than the morons who ran banks or thsoe who provided the Thactherite ideologies.

    Just one quesion Timedoe you read anything or is your first instict to do charcater assasinations on anyone you think you don’t like.

  13. Surreptitious Evil – Making fun of dyslexic people is your idea of fun, is it? Shame on you and all those who agree with you. And you guys think you can begin to udnerstand social problems. How low will you guys sink?

  14. johnb probably because the socialists are in charge /at the moment/. Pretty simple really. When the Tories are back in then we’ll bemoan the other side. Alright?

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