Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Tories' private equity love-in


As Labour has started to look at the role of private equity in the economy naturally at some point the Tories would join the debate. Last night Shadow Chancellor George Osborne gave a speech at the annual dinner of the industry's trade body the BVCA. It's worth a read if only to disabuse yourself of any notion that the main parties are all the same.

Osborne's broad argument is that the Tories will stand 'shoulder to shoulder' (or 'head up backside') with the industry against attacks from 'the left'. In return the Tories would like it if the industry would be a bit more open, say a bit about the environment, and put some of their moeny into young companies rather than just taking existing public companies private. All very unthreatening, and as is the current way with the Tories very little detail.

Most interesting is the section of the speech attacking the unions and the left:

Under attack from the trade unions who contribute 90 per cent of the funding to the Labour Party.

And under attack from the Cabinet members who need their votes in the party's deputy leadership election.

As you yourselves know better than anyone, the success and size of your industry makes you an increasingly visible target.

The GMB are trying to brand you "amoral asset-strippers". Brendan Barber of the TUC preferred "casino capitalists".

It's not just the unions. Alan Johnson said the GMB attack "raised some important points".

Harriet Harman wants to stop what she calls your "excessive, ridiculous bonuses".

Peter Hain called your bonuses "grotesque", and raised "serious concerns" about private equity. And he's in the Cabinet.

1 comment:

ilanit said...

In September I would have speculated that MS would not be treating a first-tier Orange Country business investment like Blackstone this way. But as the Fall has progressed and the potential liability increased it is clear that banks are willing to risk even their largest clients to wriggle away from some of these deals.