Sumary of ALEX BRUMMER: Kwarteng gets it wrong on Morrisons:
- They were the same arguments mustered by then chancellor George Osborne when Pfizer launched its failed £86billion bid for Astrazeneca (AZ) in 2014. Were it not for a robust defence by AZ there might be no life-saving Oxford-AZ Covid vaccine.
- Similarly, when Softbank chief Masayoshi Son bought Arm Holdings for £24billion in 2016, he was welcomed at Downing Street as a conquering hero and the deal seen as backing for post-Brexit Britain.
- Son’s ambition for the Cambridge-based smart chip maker was taken at face value.
- No one envisaged that its Chinese arm would be sold to Beijing and the core of the company put up for sale to rival chip maker Nvidia.
- Morrisons chairman Andy Higginson has somehow convinced Kwarteng that the bidders Fortress, backed again by Softbank and the ultra-Right Koch Brothers, are good chaps and to be trusted with the UK’s fourth largest supermarket group, its farms, food production and fishing fleet.
- Rogue Barings trader Nick Leeson was sent to Singapore and the Natwest Three to the United States.