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.
Adam Smith, one of the leading figures of the 18th century Scottish intellectual enlightenment, liked free markets and restrained governments. The 21st century campaigns for and against a Scottish political liberation show that governments have acquired an economic importance which Smith could hardly have imagined.