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Biscuits and Bail-outs


There is a chastening appendix in Michael Porter’s 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations, in which he offers tabulated examples of how nations come to specialise in certain areas of production, just as businesses do. I paraphrase, but it reads something along the lines of:

Germany: Machine tools, luxury cars, petrochemicals Japan: consumer electronics, cars USA: software, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals UK: Biscuits

But this week, surely our biscuit manufacturers can be joined by designers of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as the envy of the world. While the precise design of the banking bail-out is no doubt determined by the contingent…

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