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Selling the family silver could send the City down the sink

Some years ago, shortly before his death, Lord Stockton, better known as Harold Macmillan, the former prime minister, rose to deliver his last major speech to the House of Lords. At the height of the panic generated by the energy crisis of the 1970s - a time when the premier had ordered industry to work a three-day week while cabinet ministers urged the populace to learn how to clean their teeth in the dark - his was the voice of moderation. 'In times of financial stress, ' he intoned, ...

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