Let them eat austerity!

by Mark Pinder

Between 2002 and 2005, Philip Green siphoned off at least $2.7 billion, (or$2,700,000,000.00 if you prefer), in dividends and other payments from BHS and Taveta to his non tax paying wife in Monaco. Even if you subtracted the maybe $1 billion of BHS pensions black hole, he and his family would still have drawn $1.7 billion from the companies. Could you ever spend that amount of money? If you could, could you do it with a clear conscience, even before you factored in the destroyed expectations and poverty that you’re imposing on the people you’d fucked over with your greed? 

One issue I have not seen talked about is what state the pension schemes are of the other companies in his retail empire? If I worked at Burton or Miss Selfridge, (or a host of other Arcadia owned stores), I’d be feeling rather nervous right now, and be demanding an immediate public audit into the pensions schemes of the rest of his chains, not to mention legislation barring any other tycoons that behave like this, from being allowed to be involved in any takeover or acquisition deals in the UK in future. Was there not talk some time ago, coming from Labour, about legislation to make it illegal for companies to make dividend payments to shareholders illegal, if the pension company was in arrears to the pension scheme?

This article in Vanity Fair is worth a read, even if they don’t acknowledge their own complicity in helping to foster and promote the lifestyles of the Philip Green’s and the super-rich.

When Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green, the U.K.’s answer to Donald Trump, off-loaded the struggling retail chain BHS for just one pound, Britons cried foul.