What the high street really needs is Gordon Gekko

There was a time when ‘asset stripping’ was one of the best-known – and vilified – terms in the commercial lexicon. In this country, the likes of Slater Walker and Hanson raided declining manufacturing industries and turned big profits by slimming them down and selling off many of their best assets.

In America, the corporate raiders of the 1980s did much the same thing. It was never a popular business – the villainous Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street was an asset stripper – but it was often very profitable.

In this decade the asset strippers are going to [...]

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