Sporting nations

[Re: Entrepreneurial nations win big in medal tables, yesterday]

Stefania Lovo raises some interesting thoughts in her article, but the truth is more complicated. Why, for example, have some large nations not won more medals? The answer is linked to cultural characteristics of each particular nation. Many countries provide winning athletes because they are sporting nations. The USA is the classic example. Its people have a cultural predilection to compete and win, linked to the way its economy puts a premium on individual merit. The nation’s wealth is the cherry on the cake, permitting provision of good facilities, training and support.
Winston Chesterfield, research manager at Quadrangle


Treasury greats

[Re: A champagne prize for the worst Treasury team in modern British history, yesterday]

Paul Ormerod was wrong to resort to Gordon Brown-bashing in launching his competition. Brown certainly did a lot of things very badly, but keeping Britain out of the euro was an achievement. Had we joined, we’d now be implementing an austerity programme designed by governments other than our own.

Terry Thomas

Ormerod gives us too much choice and his list of Treasury failures is too short. Britain is notorious for its consistently bad Treasury. Nigel Lawson stands out as a rare success.

Philip Thomas


Boris Johnson’s got London in terrific order for the Olympics and he’s making us all laugh. I think it’s time he was Prime Minister.

Bradley Wiggins has my vote for greatest Briton, just ahead of Sir Steve Redgrave. He’s a testament to hard work and dedication.

Boris has probably secured another few thousand supporters for his candidacy for Prime Minister following his zip wire mishap.

Imagine Paul Krugman as chairman of the Federal Reserve. He’d set printing standards for central banks. The financial cliff is close.