It sounded like a speech from the opposition. Not a member of the government. He is secretary of state for business. This is exactly the sort of talk that frightens away foreign investment.
Lord Myners, former Labour City minister
He obviously feels he needs to pander to the more socialist elements among the Lib Dems. It's of great concern if the minister who is supposed to liaise with and understand business is making comments like this.
Luke Johnson, former C4 chairman
Takeovers allow control of poorly run businesses to pass into more efficient hands. Cable has harsh things to say about capitalism: it will be interesting to hear his ideas for an alternative.
Richard Lambert, director general, CBI
Cable is intent on destroying any inward investment into the UK. Insulting and threatening the very people who you desperately need to build your economy is not clever or statesmanlike.
Simon Denham, Capital Spreads
You can't step up to the plate as business secretary and still behave as a liberal campaigner.?This is another brick in the wall, saying to the outside world that business isn't as welcome as it used to be.
Digby Jones, former director general of CBI
His speech today was a two fingered salute to those helping to drive the economy forward. Cable clearly has an issue with capitalism, whatever he’s been spouting to the contrary.
Ken Brotherston, CEO, Kinsey Allen Intl
HE is the man in charge of promoting British business and luring foreign firms to the UK.
But yesterday the private sector finally lost patience with business secretary Vince Cable, after he gave a rabble-rousing speech attacking virtually every sector in the City.
He said bankers were “spivs and gamblers”; railed against the “murky world of corporate behaviour”; and said accountants, lawyers and advisers who work on mergers and acquisitions were “accomplices”.
And Cable stunned his audience when he claimed bankers “did more harm to the British economy than [RMT leader] Bob Crow could achieve in all his wildest Trotskyite fantasies.”
He also slammed the free market, claiming “capitalism takes no prisoners and kills competition where it can” and pledging to stop “short term investors looking for a speculative killing”.
And Cable said the “tax base” should be shifted to property and land to stop people from avoiding income tax.
Business leaders hit out at the Lib Dem totem, with former Labour City minister Lord Myners saying it “sounded like a speech from the opposition” and could drive investment away from the UK.
Serial entrepreneur and former Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson told City A.M. Cable had caved in to the socialist elements of the Lib Dems.
The Tories were unwilling to condemn the speech, refusing to comment on the Lib Dem party conference. Cable now faces a colossal struggle to regain the confidence of the City.