Willy Hutton promotes himself

From Master of an Oxford College to global economic supremo!

It’s clear what needs to happen. There needs to be wholesale change in economic thinking. Forces in world labour markets – new forms of 21st-century trade unionism – need to be strengthened. The power of financial markets needs to be constrained. Credit growth needs to be managed by direct controls on the growth of bank balance sheets and banks need to be weaned off the financial casino they have built. Great companies need to be allowed to purpose themselves around creating value rather than dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders.

All to be done according to Willy’s plans. You know, the man who ran The Industrial Society so well.

40 thoughts on “Willy Hutton promotes himself”

  1. The photo with the article shows stocks rising. In China stock markets red is up and green is down. Good ole Guardian.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Great companies need to be allowed to purpose themselves around creating value rather than dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders.

    By “need to be allowed” I assume he means “need to be forced to”. After all, there is nothing stopping them creating value if they like. America’s most famous investor is also famous for investing in long term value.

    Of course Willy needs to be the one to define value.

  3. Where does a bloke who crashed the business he was in charge of get off telling other people how to run theirs?

    How does such a fool get himself put in charge of any sort of commercial activity?

  4. Funnily enough, the only enterprises not purposed around creating value are the ones run by the government.

  5. Mr. Ecks,
    Back in the good old days, when Britain still had some industry, nitwit nephews, cretinous cousins and twats you owe favours to could be found a sinicure at some friendly conglomerate, e.g. director of intramural communications at Sunshine Desserts, but in these leaner times they all have to be stuffed into some obscure corner of the private sector. Hence the popularity of quangos and fake charities.

  6. @R le j The poshest most dim-witted types get parked in political parties where, bankrolled by family money they eventually get well-paying jobs as, for instance, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, on a work-experience basis.

  7. DBCR: Although we all like to dismiss politicians for their manifest failings, politics is a rather brutal meritocracy, and both Cameron & Osborne have survived & prospered in that milieu. I have to go back to Anthony Eden to think of a really dud PM, and then a ways further back for the next one. However there is always the exception to prove the rule & the current Labour leader is definitely an exemplar.

  8. The problem is, when Willie fucks up the entire world like he did the Industrial Society, he would have no bolt hole to flee too for a comfortable living.

  9. I agree, Tractor Gent, but the problem is that “good at politics” does not equal “good at government”.

  10. Ecksy

    How does such a fool get himself put in charge of any sort of commercial activity?

    Not only commercial activity, but any activity. Woolly Willy has precious few qualifications to be Principal of Hertford – just like the ghastly Rustbugger who was appointed Principal of Lady Margaret Hall after he resigned as editor of the grauniad.

  11. RlJ… The good old days of British manufacturing are repeating in China. So many Taiwanese factories I visit where the millionaire owner has put his fuckwit nephew in charge of a department with a Chinese supervisor doing all the work on a fraction of his pay.

  12. @Theophrastus: January 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Woolly Willy has precious few qualifications to be Principal of Hertford – just like the ghastly Rustbugger who was appointed Principal of Lady Margaret Hall after he resigned as editor of the grauniad.

    Yet another worked example of the principle of “It’s not what you know but who you know…”.

  13. dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders

    That would be my pension scheme, perhaps? I may not be alone in this since many my age came after the great pensions sell off.

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “Great companies need to be allowed to purpose themselves around creating value rather than dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders.”

    There is absolutely no sense whatever in which “creating value” is not in the interests of shareholders. D’y’see, Hutton, you incredibly fucking thick tosser, that the entire purpose of firms lies in returning value to their owners? It doesn’t lie in making things or providing services. That is an ancillary pursuit, the mechanism by which value is created, but it is not the purpose of the firm. And, a fortiori, the purpose of a firm is not to provide employment. As our genial host has so often pointed out, the workforce is a bloody nuisance and if the same shareholder value could be created without employees then not only the sensible but the moral choice would be to sack the whole bloody lot of ’em.

    It is only the resilience of free market capitalism under the burden of red tape that allows the creation of enough surplus value to provide a refuge for third-rate intellects like Hutton’s. As tempting as it is for lackwits like him to bugger about with things, he should leave well alone.

  15. “The power of financial markets needs to be constrained.”

    What does this even mean? Feckwit.

    If he and his socialist mates didn’t need to borrow all that money, the financial markets wouldn’t have any power over government anyway.

  16. @B in CR Are you serious? It is one of the purposes of capitalist firms to provide the wages that allow people to buy the goods and services that the working population produce.
    Otherwise nothing can be sold for lack of demand (as Henry Ford “discovered” by accident and Marx by following a lot of other people).
    Hutton does make this kind of point about capitalism “It needs embedded countervailing power – effective trade unions , law and public action –
    to keep it honest and sustain the demand off which it feeds.” But he does tail off into overblown pronouncements at the end .
    Please explain how your favoured low wage/no wage economy is going to survive without revolutionary violence.

  17. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Oh not that fucking shit about Model T’s being priced so that Ford workers could buy them. Not again. Tim’s destroyed that idiotic line of reasoning here and in Forbes, among other places. It was a cuntishly stupid argument when it was first promulgated; that it still has currency just goes to show how resistant mental weeds are to eradication. It’s like kudzu or something.

  18. “the same shareholder value could be created without employees then not only the sensible but the moral choice would be to sack the whole bloody lot of ’em”

    The key bit being that “the same” value is created.

    We still need many jobs to be done by humans, but we didn’t need anybody to do do things that aren’t worth doing.

    The number of hours worked by the average Briton has sharply reduced, while living standards have sharply increased.

    And non-jobs abound in the public and corporate sectors.

    At the risk of being overly technical, this process is known as being “fucking brilliant”.

  19. @ Tractor Gent
    Sir Anthony Eden was a major cause in our defeating Hitler. And he was totally right about Nasser while John Foster Dulles was totally wrong; as a a result of JF Dulles having more power than Eden we got three Arab-Israeli wars and Saddam Takriti Hussein.

  20. @ DBC Reed
    Henry Ford bought in steel and components. So his wages could not possibly have increased demand for Ford cars. End of story.

  21. “dancing to the interests of disengaged shareholders”

    Disengaged? They aren’t interested in what the companies they invested in are dong? Ok. Why would the undersecretary of paper clips at the Ministry of Inertia be any better?

    As for the Henry Ford argument, it’s even more stupid these days when the State gobbles up 20-45% of every pound a modern-day Ford might want to pay his staff (plus employers NI of course) so they could buy his cars.

    If every employer has to pay their staff enough to buy their products, we will have neurosurgeons leaving the NHS to work for Rolls-Royce. One of those unexpected consequences I suppose.

  22. @ DBC Reed
    The Classics Scholars at Balliol were considered the world’s top intellects, so suggesting that because Mac only got an Exhibition in Classics, putting him third in the world, he was dimwitted demonstrates that you are an incompetent con-artist.
    Who did you think that you would fool?

  23. Stop the owners of a company controlling what a company does? Wow, so I can sell 99% of myself, splurge the capital injection, and ignore what the owners of my company want me to do. Wonderful. Where do I sign?

  24. BiCR
    I am quite aware that comparatively well-paid workers at the Ford plant being enabled to buy more expensive goods was not Ford’s intention: this is why it was described as an “accidental” discovery above.
    Now try and show a measure of self control and answer the direct question: how is everything to be sold if employers don’t distribute their total value fairly evenly among the working population in wages?
    Kinda basic : to which I am sure you can quote a trite response from TW .
    Don’t make the simpleton error of thinking that every workers at Ferrari should be able to buy this sports car.It is aggregate supply in an economy =equalling aggregate demand.So the sum total of goods and services produced in an economy should ideally not exceed value of the sum total of wages and salaries .
    J77: Mac? You are wandering again. Harold Macmillan? As far as I can see he hardly received any formal education, leaving public school for mysterious reasons and university for WW1.He did know his classics certainly.Not as much as Enoch Powell who was a prodigious classical scholar and later crunched the numbers in Economics with contemptuous ease while pursuing policies of friendship with Russia and hostility with the US; despite all of which he cannot be admired for obvious reasons, in the manner of classical tragedy.

  25. Bloke in Costa Rica

    It was as much an accidental discovery as the accidental discovery of Atlantis: it didn’t fucking happen.

  26. I shall regret trying to correct DBC but still, here goes.

    “So the sum total of goods and services produced in an economy should ideally not exceed value of the sum total of wages and salaries .”

    1) No. Sum total of value of goods and services, produced, plus exports minus imports, should equal total incomes in the economy. The major difference here being that rents, interest and profits are also incomes.

    2) They do. By definition they do. GDP is measured as all consumption, all production or all incomes.

    DBC’s version *cannot* be true. Because if there’s no allowance for capital income then who is paying for depreciation, let alone investment?

  27. BiCR
    Which is why I put discovery in inverted commas in the original: Ford probably didn’t realise what he had initiated for quite a while. Not now though ;if you look up the current Ford Foundation web site under ‘Ford pays $5 a day’, it runs the same schtick that Ford kick- started the American middle-class by forcing his competitors to follow suit so the workers could afford to buy cars.
    You are surely not proposing that Ford was following the capitalism-destroying (Tim Worstall) line of getting wages down as far as possible?A dollar a day was not unusual in the US at that time.
    And stop swearing:it makes you sound rattled.

  28. @Tim Worstall,
    Is that all you’ve got? You counter the standard defence of post- robber- baron- era capitalism made by the Ford Motor Company on its website under “The five dollar day – jump started the middle class”: that it increased demand for middle class goods and services, by repeating my definition at your I) Sentence 1 but inserting an irrelevant parenthesis about import/ export (which should optimally net off to nothing ,otherwise we end up exporting all our goods (too many exports) or exporting our jobs (too many cheap imports). In other words minus this parenthesis , you are repeating my clauses in jumbled form.
    You go on in 1) to confuse incomes for the capitalists and rentiers with the mass of workers’ incomes that produce aggregate demand.As we are both land taxers I do not need to point out that increased rent (ultimately the rent of land) turns commercial Progress into Poverty ( I know Henry George was a bleedin’ Tory but he did recognise that high rents decrease demand to the detriment and ruination of Business which is why Adam Smith supported LVT before Henry George, while inventing laissez faire. Interest payments are a problem but not if banks are nationalised and interest payments become a fee for money creation to discount other taxes.Profits cannot boost aggregate demand because they are extracted from the general population and paid to a minority who cannot buy enough mass-produced goods to compensate for their small numbers.( I do not suppose you are recommending the Douglas Scheme of Social Credit to boost demand by State funded National Dividends for all)
    Becoming somewhat bored I will conclude with: depreciation and investment should rightly come from withheld profits or bank lending ( or money creation as you rightly say half the time).
    I would point out that Hutton was trying to deal with the issue of a second economic and global financial collapse in eight years with the corrupt business-as-usual system holding sway.
    If a demand deficit is so good why is the global economy sliding down the roof again?

  29. @ DBC Reed
    Exhibition in Classics to Balliol and first class honours in Moderations = hardly any education.
    What have you been smoking today?
    “wandering”? You said ” The poshest most dim-witted types get parked in political parties where, bankrolled by family money they eventually get well-paying jobs as, for instance, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, on a work-experience basis.” Those who have gone from Chancellor of the Exchequer to PM since WWII were Harold MacMillan, Jim Callaghan, John Major and George Brown, of whom only Mac was posh.
    It is well-documented that MacMillan left Eton for health reasons, heart problems some time after a severe attack of pneumonia leaving him a semi-invalid. Not at all mysterious. Five years later in 1914 he was afraid that the army might turn him down of health grounds.

  30. J77 Despite your experience of an ancient university and private education , your understanding of the ruling-class and its background is embarrassingly unworldly.
    Ferdinand Mount explained Macmillan’s mysterious departure from Eton in a book review entitled “Too obviously clever” in London Review of Books 8.ix.11:”His mother, the possessive and bossy Nellie Belles from Indiana ,took him away from Eton when he was only 15, fearing he was being exposed to “unnatural practices”.JBS Haldane, who was there at the time , claimed Macmillan had been expelled for homosexuality.”
    On the other hand, I agree with everything you say about Anthony Eden and Dulles.

  31. @ DBC Reed
    Of course Ferdinand Mount is an expert on what happened 30 years before he was born and medical records are purely a work of fiction.
    I am unwordly in the sense that I do not live in your make-believe world. I suppose that in your world Daniel MacMillan attended Cheltenham Ladies College. The claim that you attribute to Haldane is obviously untrue as he would not have been accepted at Oxford if he had been expelled [if Haldane did say it one may suppose it was a spiteful remark by a Marxist (with a far from exemplary sexual history) about one of the protagonists in Suez]

  32. @J77 You have now wandered off into describing Daniel MacMillan at Cheltenham Ladies College (or is it Donald MacDonald or Dylan MacMillan?) Daniel Macmillan is an American explorer.
    Do remember that you dragged Harold MacMillan into this and accused me of disrespecting him when I hadn’t even mentioned his name, reserving my scorn for the likes of Osborne and Cameron and others of the Post Thatcher generation.
    You seem to have taken a dislike to JBS Haldane although he was an Oxford graduate in Hard Sums and classics and an estimable scientist .There is not much record of his sexual history ,exemplary or otherwise, only that Aldous Huxley satirised him in Antic Hay as a biologist too absorbed in his subject not to notice his friends were bedding his wife.As for the mystery of MacMillan leaving Eton at 15 , it is more likely that his mother ,an American, was shocked to discover the routine depravity of English public schools and chose to protect her son . One account says that the young MacMillan was being used by older predatory boys.
    Any animus towards MacMillan on Haldane’s part could scarcely be politically motivated .He left the CP in 1950 six years before Suez, the event which caused him to leave England and become an Indian citizen. MacMillan’s role in Suez is another mystery as he was, as Harold Wilson said “First in and first out.” As MacMillan was accused by hardliners of grovelling to the Americans and organising
    a retreat from Suez, Haldane probably thought well of him.

  33. @ DBC Reed, pretending to be an idiot.
    Firstly you started this by claiming dim-wits get to be Chancellor and Prime Minister so your latest claim is a terminologiocal inexacvitude
    Secondly, your ignorance extends to that of Harold MacMillan’s eldest brother, Daniel MacMillan, the successful publisher educated at Eton (and Balliol). If Eton had been so depraved as to shock his mother, Harold would never have gone there. Arthur, the middle brother, was sickly and educated at home; Harold was brought home as a semi-invalid.
    JBS Haldane said that he left England because of Suez, and your claim that he can’t have disliked MacMillan on political grounds because he had left the Communist Party – but continued to admire Stalin – is ludicrous. MacMillan was an enthusiast for the Suez operation but backed out when the US government threatened to ignore international law and destroy Britain’s currency – not a reason for Haldane to like him.

  34. I started by saying dim wits get to become Chancellor and Prime Minister nowadays ,not that one and the same dim wit goes from No11 to No 10 .This headlong misapprehension led you to concentrate on people who’d done both jobs and then wax indignant about MacMillan’ patchy education. All in your own head.
    Thanks for pointing out which Daniel MacMillan you were talking about but, as he was not a public figure, nobody is much the wiser.
    The fact that MacMillan was up to his neck in the Suez plotting did not come out till later: he became PM when the Queen sought advice from hardly anybody as someone who was thought less tainted by Suez than most . He was also probably more agreeable to the Americans who did not merely threaten to destroy Britain’s currency during Suez: they set about doing so by organising a run on the pound and making sure we could not withdraw our own money from the World Bank. (I suspect our views on Suez are very similar).
    Why you think that Haldane said MacMillan was expelled from Eton for homosexuality because a) he was an incorrigible Marxist b) blamed MacMillan for Suez is beyond reason.

  35. @ DBC Reed
    If you cannot tell the difference between “and” and “or”, don’t blame me, blame your own incompetence.

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