Letters to the editor - 22/08 - Global competition, HS2 debate, Best of Twitter

Global competition

[Re: We should be glad that foreign firms want to buy British companies, yesterday]

I agree with Tim Worstall. It is essential that financiers and investors have a viable route to a profitable exit. And a foreign sale is often an important avenue. UK venture capital typically wishes to sell on in four to five years, which can lead to short-term profit taking or downward wage bidding. But German, Korean, Japanese and American firms typically have much longer investment time horizons. We must not blame a motivated seller for selling to a new foreign buyer who sees a possibility for acquisition.

Name withheld


HS2 debate

[Re: Why HS2 won’t cost £80bn, Monday]

The first TGV/LGV was given the go ahead in 1976. By the mid-1990s, the trains were so popular that SNCF president Louis Gallois declared TGV “the train that saved French railways”. It is long overdue here.

Chris Lovett

Evidence that HS2 could cost £80bn when it was originally projected to be around £20bn has rightly caused outrage. But the Department for Transport’s own alternative, Rail Package 2, can solve Britain’s capacity issues, and would cost only £2bn. It is time the government scrapped this failing policy.

Peter Westwick



Greece’s primary surplus brings it closer to a return to the financial markets.

Tory failure: borrowing rises in the first four months of the year compared with last year.

Interest rates rise incentivised deals on houses. But further increases will diminish pool of eligible buyers.

Improvement in UK gilt prices capped by poor public finances numbers. Ten-year yield rises to 2.7 per cent.