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Saturday, 1 August 2009

Myners the whiner

Lord Myners has told the BBC that shareholders who do not hold shares for the long term should have inferior rights as owners, arguing that "companies are too important" for big shareholders to trade in and out of them "willy nilly".

"We've lost sight of the fact that a share certificate - in fact we don't have them now, it's all recorded electronically - but a share certificate is a right and entitlement of ownership which carries with it certain responsibilities," Lord Myners added.

"It's not a piece of paper to be traded, to be bought and sold."

Of course he never said anything of the sort when he was chairman of Gartmore. Nor would he do anything else that would have undermined the value of shares either in the hands of market maklers which would have reduced liquidity and widened spreads (in the wrong direction for his fund managers), nor supported anything that would have restricted his fund manages' ability to trade in shares when they wanted.

Of course it will never happen. If it was imposed by taxation on the shareholders, investment funds would have to move offshore to be competitive. If it was imposed by company law through a different treatment of the shares, large companies would move their listings and their headquarters. Still it proves what an idiot Myners is to even think about it long enough to mention it in an interview.

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