Does Willy Hutton actually understand economics?

Another frequent nominee is accountant and deal-maker Nigel Rudd. Over the last 10 years, Britain has sold more than twice as many companies to foreigners as we have bought abroad – and the salesman-in-chief is Rudd.

Who is this “we” paleface? The individual decisions of the individual owners of these things?

But apart from that at the national level this is bloody obvious. And it’s got fuck all to do with Nigel sodding Rudd. Brtiain runs a trade deficit and also a current account deficit (the difference being trade in goods and then the net of trade in goods and services, roughly speaking). We’ve run a trade deficit for 30 odd years now. we Brits like to buy the things that foreigners make. The inevitable flip side of this very same thing is that we run a capital account surplus. Because the balance of trade does balance. So, obviously, we must be selling off more of the capital stock to foreigners than we are buying of foreign capital stock.

It’s sod all to do with the morality or decisions of the capitains of industry.

Oh Dear God it gets worse.

Britain is in the midst of a full-blown crisis of collapsed productivity, lack of investment and chronic inability to compete internationally.

so, err, how do we get more investment? We let foreigners send their lovely caqpital into British industry. By, you know, allowing them to buy British companies?

9 thoughts on “Does Willy Hutton actually understand economics?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    so, err, how do we get more investment? We let foreigners send their lovely caqpital into British industry. By, you know, allowing them to buy British companies?

    Well, their countries may be worse than Britain. But also they are not buying new companies. They are buying older, well established companies. And property. That is, once British people had good ideas and were willing to invest in them. Giving us companies with real present day value that foreigners want.

    British people are not willing to do so now. They prefer to spend than to save. What do they know that all those Asians and Russians don’t? Presumably they have given up faith in the future and know that no new company has much chance of success. Better to forget about the future which has no role for us anyway.

    Eventually we will run out of silver spoons to flog off. We should be creating new value all the time. Doesn’t look like we are.

  2. It’s funny how twee the Guardian can be when it suits them. “Look at UKIP and their Little Englander attitude” “stop selling businesses to Johnny Foreigner”.

    Selling Boots? Who cares. It’s a mature business, selling medicines, shampoo and photo printing. If Boots has any growth in it, I’d be rather surprised.

  3. “Who is this “we” paleface? The individual decisions of the individual owners of these things?”

    When a British company does well politicians (and people like Hutton) will elbow their own mother out of the way to try and grab a bit of reflected glory. Having successfully muscled into the world of business in this parasitic way it is then a problem when British firms get sold to foreigners. Politicians then can’t make anything like as much political capital out of it in the future.

  4. @SMFS British companies and entrepreneurs are still creating stacks of value. It’s all around you if you care to see.

  5. Does he not know that Bob Dudley is an American running a business with vastly more capital and turnover in the USA than in the UK and more US than British shareholders? The UK does not represent a “significant” (as defined by accounting standards) segment of BP’s business which is split geographically into US (a bit over one-third) and the rest, so the UK must be less than 10%.

  6. Since no owner sells a good business (& hence most acquisitions create zero or negative net additional value), this statistic reveals British owners to be really good salespeople.

  7. Bloke in Costa RIca

    I would have thought that the hapless exploits of Hutton, as exhaustively detailed on this here blog, would demonstrate that the answer to the question in this post’s title is, “no.” Further investigation would reveal it to be “hell, no!” If you wanted to build a machine that unerringly found the wrong end of any stick presented to it, then if it could be programmed with a distillation of Hutton’s writings it would be be a corker.

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