The Week: Best of the blogs - The process of elimination

Based in Canary Wharf, it would be impossible not to have noticed the change in mood in the past few weeks. In a way, it's an improvement. The parking at Sevenoaks station is more plentiful, for a start. And, in Canary Wharf, there is finally something interesting to look at.

My biggest complaint about E14 was there was never any pleasure to be derived from people-watching there. Here, the opportunities for detective work are few: "Dr Watson, save that our caller was young, a banker, ambitious, a gym-goer, materialistic, a BMW driver and a bit of a twat, I fear there's little I can deduce from his general appearance. Now pray pass the pipe ..."

Today the mood's a bit more self-aware, and people's expressions are more interesting. "I notice from your cardboard box and fraught demeanour that you were until today an employee of the Lehman brothers' once-respectable bank."

Yet one welcome casualty of this crisis is the widespread and unquestioned belief that unending growth is the only proper pursuit of any business, and that a business has no responsibility other than to its shareholders.

I am not saying this belief is necessarily wrong, by the way. I am merely suggesting it is worth debating - and should not be treated as axiomatic. And it needs to be questioned even more now, when the businesses that have most enthusiastically espoused this ideal seem suddenly to be desperate for government help.


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