I’ve just taken my sons to school and one of the other fathers on school run duty said, rather excitedly “Vince is back”.
He referred of course to Vince Cable’s speech to be given today in which he’s expected to say that "murky" corporate practices threaten UK firms and "capitalism kills competition".
He’s right of course. It’s blatantly obviously true. Except to the CBI whose accusation that he’s using “emotional language” wouild be so much more credible if they did not believe in a fantasy version of what markets deliver.
But what I’m really keen to hear is Vince’s response to the challenge form the CBI who want to “to hear his ideas for an alternative."
It exists, of course.
It’s a market based on transparency and effective regulation to counter the trend that one LibDem aide described as “Capitalism left to its own devices just creates monopolies which work against the interests of consumers and inflict severe damage on the wider economy."
Transparency exists when the following information is readily available to all who might need it to appraise transactions they or others might undertake or have undertaken with another natural or legal person:
1. Who that other person is;
2. Where the person is;
3. What right the person has to enter into a transaction;
4. What capacity the person has to enter into a transaction;
And with regard to entities that are not natural persons:
5. What the nature of the entity is;
6. On whose behalf the entity is managed;
7. Who manages the entity;
8. What transactions the entity has entered into;
9. Where it has entered into those transactions;
10. Who has actually benefited from the transactions;
11. Whether all obligations arising from the transactions have been properly fulfilled.
Only when these questions can be answered on timely basis and at low or no cost by anyone who wishes to make enquiry does financial transparency exist.
Regulation, of tax havens, to ensure country-by-country reporting, to ensure full information on all companies and trusts, to prevent monopoly, to ensure all tax is paid, and so much more creates a level playing field to deliver this transparency and a fair market.
That’s the alternative.
I wonder if Vince will go for it?