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The Maverick: Dispatches from an unrepentant capitalist by Luke Johnson

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6. Business History

Let’s Support the Inventors of Real Wealth

Who has added greatest value to British commerce since 1945? Sir Ernest Harrison of Racal? Lord Weinstock of GEC? Certainly those two generated enormous shareholder wealth and made themselves fortunes in the process. But there are other, almost unsung heroes who may not be so rich, but who have done wonders for industry and Britain. I am talking about the great inventors, a classic British breed.

I would argue that Sir James Black, the Scottish Nobel prize winner, has created more wealth than any of the above giants of business. Which company did he run? Well, he was neither chief executive nor chairman of any British firm. In fact he was the research scientist who discovered ...

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