Of a village pub, and other tales of private equity
Yes and yes and yes many, many, many times over.
Related to your nearby Estate - have you read The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes? (https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/book-of-trespass-9781526604712/)
Also, the name for his post reminds me of Cory Doctorow's masterful essay on Tik Tok's enshittification. (https://pluralistic.net/2023/01/21/potemkin-ai/)
"Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die."
This is happening everywhere, good people need to stand up and say 'enough is enough' and do something. Like you have. Part two must be about how you are a key part of a group trying to bring our pub under community ownership, reversing this trend and breathing new life into our village!
Cannibals who want us all to be Sharecroppers
I saw the slow death of most of the mom & pop stores.....forced out by Ridiculous rents.
I choose Etsy and local everything.
This is also the basic plot to Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and to a lesser extent “Pretty Woman” with some background on the origins of private equity / activist investors - publicly traded companies with big balance sheets, poorly run with too heavy management and bloated expenses. These conglomerates were often mini-monopolies that flourished under the protection of high tariffs and other high costs of entry to a sector. The proof of their incompetence and bloatedness often came in the way of foreign competitions (think Toyota to GM) or new start ups (think different, I mean Apple to IBM). The original idea of private equity would be to streamline management, rationalize expenses, focus on a few related core areas. Often this meant a capital infusion upfront followed by many years of stronger profits to follow. Selling off non-core or money losing operations / assets was a typical way to do this. A lot of that restructuring in the 70s was positive long term, but in the 80s and 90s the supercharging of debt financing has killed off many of our beloved institutions (like newspapers) without creating anything of value in its place.
We need a better way of measuring value to society and optimizing for that. Money ain’t the right yardstick.
Ah. I remember when the left cared about casino capitalism. You know, stuff that actually matters and affects ordinary people. Great piece.
Also, I must employ more fucking swearwords in my fucking work. Offline, I swear like a fucking sailor.
Thank you. Formidably researched and memorable. What it feels like to be losing the "value".
Well I can’t but agree that venture capital and private equity don’t care one bit. The sad thing is that corporations are said to be at the heart of it with fiduciary responsibility to shareholders the only metric. Corporations could easily be constituted differently as they initially were if it was desired by shareholders. But it isn’t it seems. Greed and fear appear to be primary drivers. I despair sometimes (not really in my nature either). Great piece. Thanks you.
I have lived in Montreal for a quarter century (and it's not all roses here either) but looking at the UK from afar these days and the things you write about ... well, enshittification just about sums it up. That and apathy - we have it here too. Good luck.
Just discovered your post about the pub and private equity. You speak for me. Thanks.
Wow, this was as fascinating and enlightening as it was depressing and infuriating. What the fuck is the titled lord up to that necessitates Guantanamo security…? I’m so sorry about your pub. The same has happened in our village, there’s two pubs holding out but I doubt they’ll last long. There’s a prevalent sense of defeat. And TDR’s website, Jesus Christ…