Why did Nikkei buy the Financial Times? As my colleague Rob Cox points out, the best explanation is demographic. Thanks to minimal immigration and a small number of children, the population of the Japanese group’s home market is shrinking by about 30 percent each generation. Many companies that want to grow – as shareholders and managers generally expect big firms to do – have to look abroad for expansion.
Companies in the 21st century can learn from 13th century England. Overmighty, overpaid CEOs are the new King Johns held to account, sort of, by the barons of fund management. What’s needed is more respect for finance’s neglected yeomanry: ordinary savers. Financial fiefs should be subjected to a modern Magna Carta.