Feb 16, 2012 0
Financial services, according to this report:
Left to right shows what we’re good at (i.e. financial services) and top to bottom shows what the next-big-thing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China want to buy from us (i.e. financial services). In one sense, therefore, this could be taken as support for the argument that if we’re going to compete in the future we need to carry on doing what we’re good at and accept what goes along with that (i.e. financial services), whether that’s bonuses or income inequality or whatever.
But as John Lanchester points out in his brilliant book Whoops!, we didn’t get where we are by magic:
There are four sectors in which Britain is world-class: finance, arms manufacturing, the creative arts and higher education. Of these, the first receives strong government support, the second lavish investment and strong support, the third is largely left to mind its own business and the fourth has been gradually run down, with three decades of consistent discouragement and underfunding.
If we’re not going to do anything differently this time we need a better reason than, “We can’t, because if we could, we would have, and anyway it’s too late.”
More on the report – including a breakdown of the best-performing British companies by sector – at Motley Fool.