Sir Howard Davies
PublishedJuly 27, 2012 CategoryProfiles of our Business Greats

Sir Howard Davies

A Tyrant and a Playwright Came…


With quite modest antecedents I’d inclined in youth

To an adolescent’s yearnings for the Right and Truth;

But, making it to Oxford, learned a life’s better spent

More in wooing than in rueing the Establishment.

Fell in love with most things media, made a dead set at my Jag,

Got my Second politicking on the student rag.


With such mandatory trinkets I was set to shine

Among intellects a little less acute than mine,

But with ‘bureaucrat’ engraved upon the old C.V.

Was advised that where it’s really at is Industry –

Not the dogsbodies of do-ers or the ones who pay the bills,

But the Davos-hopping Raiders of the Corporate Tills..


Though little versed in business, I then holed in one

Peddling old McKinsey whimsy on the way it’s done;

Learned the comfortable insight that a Board’s elite

Needs to soil its hands with little but a balance- sheet.

Much  exposure on the telly, lots of media-chit-and-chat

Apotheosed me from a  ‘Bureau –‘ to a ‘ Eurocrat’.


Yet the bane of  ex-McKinseys ,reaching boldly for their sky,

Was the mandatory porridge with the dear-old  CBI.

After which, with no remission,  I was on my  way

To be finance-friendly  founder of the FSA;

So that bonus-hungry bankers could securitise their credits

Without some Regulator fool  to bite the hand that fed it..    


Yet, just when safe in LSE’s calm Groves of Academe,

A Tyrant and A Playwright came, unravelling my dream.

The pesky David Hare and media moralists were leaping

To uncomfortable truths about some company I’d been keeping.

So, what between the Melt-Downs and the Surfeits of Gaddafis,

I’ll be sitting this one out until I’m sure whose the last laugh is.



( from ‘ Profiles of Our Business Greats’ )