There’s a wee piece here about how it is possible for a listed company to be successful while being subtantially controlled by a few family personalities, but how sometimes this doesn’t work at all.  I don’t doubt the thesis, but the bank Santander is given as an example of the former.  That made me think. After.. read more →

28 Dec 2012
December 28, 2012

How European Democracy Works

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I see that Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, has been stressing how the UK can’t negotiate aspects of our relationship with the EU in the event of a democratic referendum in the UK.  I wrote a few days ago about my bemusement with the whole business of what Europe’s top guns are up.. read more →

18 Dec 2012
December 18, 2012

Europe’s benign dictatorships

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Today’s FT (p.6, Paywall) reports Italy’s 87 year-old President Napolitano bemoaning the early end of prime minister Mario Monti’s administration and ‘blaming’ former prime minister Berslusconi’s supporters. There are huge issues at stake, he says; “not just a bundle of votes for this or that party”.  ‘Neutral’ Napolitano is basically making the case for benign.. read more →