ALEX BRUMMER: Bank of England gives London Stock Exchange boss Rolet a red card
Public interventions by the governor of the Bank of England into the affairs of City firms are extraordinarily rare.
So it is a symbol of how embarrassing the governance row at the top of the London Stock Exchange has become that Mark Carney felt it incumbent to say something. We should not be surprised.
The LSE offshoot LCH Clearnet is critical to London's role as a financial centre, and the vast volumes of transactions it clears are both a huge source of income to the City and a potential for systemic risk.
Indeed, among the reasons that London is likely to remain dominant in clearing post-Brexit is that diluting the City's role would raise the cost of transactions. Nor is it obvious that Continental rivals to London desire to take on complex supervisory functions.
Intervention: It is a symbol of how embarrassing the governance row at the top of the London Stock Exchange has become that Mark Carney felt it incumbent to wade in
The complaints by dissident investor Sir Chris Hohn of the Children's Investment Fund about the secretive way the LSE has handled the proposed departure of Xavier Rolet next year is still valid.
As far as investors are concerned, there is no reason to question that Rolet is a fit and proper person or that his performance is wanting.?
The whispered suggestion by people close to chairman Donald Brydon that Rolet's autocratic style has contributed to his departure does no one credit.?
It will be fascinating to see the language the LSE will choose when it distributes its circular ahead of next month's extraordinary general meeting.
Carney has left no room for Rolet to hang on, given he backs the chief executive's departure in the agreed period.
The bigger issue is what happens to Brydon. A chairman with better judgment would never have allowed the LSE to be dragged into a failed 'merger of equals' with Deutsche Boerse, nor would he have permitted the uncertainty about Rolet's departure to drag on.
He has failed miserably, and those who have spent time with him in the past couple of days speak of a proud man now desperately seeking to salvage his own reputation as a safe pair of hands.
It is far too late and Brydon should resign quickly before the panjandrums in grey suits give him the heave-ho.
Tim Steiner has travelled the globe, with very limited success, seeking to extol the virtues of Ocado's disruptive grocery model.
His persistence finally appears to have paid off with the French grocery chain Groupe Casino ready to try it out in its Paris Monoprix stores.
Ocado's success in reaching beyond its start-up client Waitrose, and Morrisons, is encouraging. It is a plus for Britain's innovative sector since Ocado uses original software and warehouse robotics in its fresh-food delivery service.
This gives it considerable advantage over UK competitors which largely fill customers baskets by hand in supermarkets and dark stores. That was fine when labour was plentiful, and before the living wage, but a technology-driven approach will drive productivity going forward.
The initial deal with Casino is limited but the two companies are proposing a warehouse larger than Ocado's 240,000 square feet facility in Andover, offering 50,000 products.?
The decision to launch in Paris reflects the success that Ocado has had in making precise, on-time deliveries in urban areas, which are particularly important for families with two working people.
Nor should anyone discount the significance of the first partner being in France: not much Brexit dissonance there.
Steiner lost credibility with investors because his promises of an overseas buyer for Ocado's technology have never, until now, been realised.
Finally the basket is filling up, and the shares jumped strongly in latest trading.
Grocers seeking an edge, as Amazon strides into fresh food via Whole Foods, could do worse than invest in Ocado systems.
Economic history tells us that almost every decade brings its own banking crisis.
Johnson Matthey Bank collapsed in the 1980s, BCCI and Barings in the 1990s, Northern Rock and the great financial crisis hit in the 2000s. On that basis we should be in for another horror story soon.
The Bank of England says that even our less well capitalised banks RBS and Barclays could withstand a range or risks, including a 'disorderly' Brexit.
That should come as a relief. But however good the policing you never quite know where the next time bomb is ticking away.
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