Inside Business

London’s ‘existential’ crisis is of its own making – boosterism won’t save it

As more investors desert the capital for New York, the stock exchange is floundering and crisis talks are being held. And a government talking up a trillion-dollar fantasy business isn’t helping, says Chris Blackhurst

Saturday 18 May 2024 06:48 BST
The business sector faces an exodus of companies if things don’t change
The business sector faces an exodus of companies if things don’t change (Getty)

Jeremy Hunt did two things of note this week. One was to make the claim that Britain will create “a $1 trillion Microsoft”; the other was to call finance chiefs back to discuss what could be done to make the UK market more appealing to domestic and international investors.

The two are closely related. When, a decade or so ago, London was said to be neck and neck with New York in terms of world financial hegemony, it was always instructive to visit Manhattan and see those towers with the mighty US corporate names sitting on top.

They were head to head. Really? Well, yes, they were, because New York was the gateway to America, with a vast free market on its doorstep – witness those brands that started and grew there.

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