Magazine article The Spectator

When Information of a Financial Nature Means That There Is No Free Lunch

Magazine article The Spectator

When Information of a Financial Nature Means That There Is No Free Lunch

Article excerpt

The Midland Bank had a lofty boardroom and, at one stage in its decline, a dashing new finance director. He got his turn to speak in order of seniority, and three dozen assorted grandees took precedence. 'Well, Mr Er, Um,' said the chairman at last, 'do you have anything to contribute?' 'Yes - I thought that in a company of this kind, the board would appreciate some information of a financial nature.' He then brought out thick piles of paper full of figures and scattered them around the room, much to the vexation of his colleagues, who had been looking forward to their lunch. UK pic's finance director, Gordon Brown, has now pulled the same trick. He distributed 1,738-page piles of financial information to his colleagues, and kept the Cabinet sitting all afternoon. Imagine. Who would have thought that the Famous Five tests would be so easy to pose and so complicated to answer? …

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