Welcome to the A Long Time In Finance Podcast; the long view of finance, markets and money as seen by two veteran City editors, Neil Collins and Jonathan Ford. Sponsored by Briefcase.News and hosted on Reaction.

“You could be an H20 Owner.” That was the slogan when the water companies were sold off in 1989. But while we glugged the share sale down, the public didn’t stay owners for long, and most of the companies were later flushed into the hands of international private equity firms. All we own now is the financial and ecological mess they left behind – one that’s looming ever larger in the case of Thames Water. Neil and Jonathan talk to Jonathan Portes, economist and (in his youth) a Treasury civil servant who worked on the water sale, about what went wrong with privatisation and how to fix it.


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