Tomorrow's Business Today
The club no one wants to be in anymore
So, a rough week for the CBI. Next week, and the ones after that, aren’t looking a great deal better.
Most, perhaps all, of its problems are self-inflicted.
It presumably had no choice but to fire director general Tony Danker.
He declared himself “shocked” though not innocent. He just wishes he could present his side of the misconduct allegations – in the present environment, one side was always going to be enough.
A wider problem for the CBI might be that I haven’t heard anyone express any sympathy for it.
It’s always lurked in the background, its status as a lobby group for business unclear.
Even that standpoint seemed bungled.
It liked to say that business needed to speak with one voice. Erm, did it?
Didn’t members necessarily have competing needs, especially in the face of disruptive new technology?
Weren’t they, erm, supposed to be in actual competition with each other, like fans of capitalism claimed.
To the wider public, they just looked like guys in suits shoving through anti-union rules in dark rooms with shady ministers.
Maybe they worked hard to woo top journalists. All I ever got was a wet piece of fish and an invention to peruse the website.
That website is awful, by the way. As a colleague points out, it groans with articles on “thought leadership”, talks about a “culture of belonging” and how to improve “workplace wellbeing”.
More than a few staff must have noticed what blatant hostages to fortune those platitudes were given the actual work environment at the CBI.
It’s Time To Act. It’s Time to Seize The Moment, reads one strapline, which presently sounds like a charter for boozy men to assault women at summer boat parties.
Part of its self-importance has been its refusal to say who its members are, or indeed what it costs to join.
Sleazy Soho members clubs have the same policy.
Those members are presently glad for their involvement to be secret, so they can resign quietly.
No one thinks the CBI doesn’t need a radical overhaul. It could start with the name, which comes straight out of 1955.
The wider question is whether it deserves to survive at all.
If it did disappear, who would miss it?
Press release of the day
We have been taught to think that US and UK national debt piles are troublesome. And that we should be more prudent, like the Chinese.
This from Finbold shows that China’s national debt grew three times faster than America’s in the last 12 months.
It now has $14.3 trillion of debt, still half as much as America.
Japan is third with $13.3 trillion.
Trailing in the fourth is the UK, with a comparatively puny $3.75 trillion.
Stories that will keep rolling
1) Which of the big American banks are showing strain in their bond portfolios? Are they all on the hunt for troubled regional lenders to scoop up?
2) Will the banks’ soaring profits lead to fresh calls for windfall taxes?
3) How have the bets on interest rates moved since Thursday’s GDP figures?
4) Where is inflation hitting AO World worst of all?