Jonathan Guthrie

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Full name: Jonathan Guthrie

Area of interest:

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:







Education: Nottingham University: English

Career: Wrote for The Economist and International Financing Review. UK companies editor, companies reporter, investment writer and sub-editor at Financial Times.

Current position/role: City editor - writer and editor of Lombard

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities:



Broadcast media:






Books & Debate:

Latest work:


Financial Times:

Column name: Lombard

Remit/Info: "the agenda-setting column on London-listed businesses and on finance"





Website: FT.Com / Jonathan Guthrie

Commissioning Editor:

Day published:


Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Selected articles

Articles: 2011

Selected articles

Articles: 2010

  • A policy for gross national horridness - The government plans to measure happiness as a first step to making it a policy objective - 27th November
  • Entrepreneur was key to reforms in 1980s - David Young, a serial entrepreneur with impeccable libertarian credentials, was key to Tory reforms in the 1980s that revived the British economy and fuelled asset bubbles - 20th November
  • Sell it with Saxe-Coburg-Gotha - Jonathan Guthrie on the manufacturing opportunities presented by the royal wedding - 19th November
  • Doom-laden myths appear to put off entrepreneurs - The creation of a more entrepreneurial society in the UK is being held back by a number of myths about how difficult, risky and expensive it is to set up a new venture - 18th November
  • Cable guy dishes dirt on The Digger - Jonathan Guthrie looks at the latest stage in News Corp’s bid for BSkyB and Vince Cable’s attitude towards developments in the media world - 4th November
  • AstraZeneca patently doomed to twilight of spods - The missing Rhine gold for big pharma are breakthroughs to rival the small molecule world-beaters of yore. Genomics has largely flopped. Stem cell treatments are decades away from payback - 29th October
  • A lack of tact - The missing Rhine gold for big pharma are breakthroughs to rival the small molecule world-beaters of yore. Genomics has largely flopped. Stem cell treatments are decades away from payback - 29th October
  • Terra’s jealous Guy bewails bad bromance - Dear Guy, no one should judge you (though I have a feeling that a New York court might). Sometimes partners just want different things from a financial bromance - 28th October
  • Tech cycle could throw a spoke in Arm’s wheel - A good reputation can be almost as much of a handicap as a bad one. That is the problem for Arm Holdings. As it prepares to celebrate its 20th birthday, the chip designer is freighted with expectations so heavy that it need only fail in small ways to disappoint - 27th October
  • Throwing out all bar the kitchen sink - By launching a four-year austerity programme now, George Osborne limits the risk that above-forecast economic growth might recommend Labour’s gentler philosophy - 21st October
  • British people are terrified, by George - It is a racing certainty that the spending cuts George Osborne will unveil next Wednesday will turn out to be gentler - 14th October
  • Last roll of the dice proves a winner - As spending cuts loom, the FT reports every day this week from the front line: embattled councils, angry claimants, hopeful entrepreneurs and imperilled health services - 11th October
  • Customers are the whinge in our sails - Were it possible to dispense with customers but keep their payment streams, business would be more enjoyable and remunerative - 7th October
  • Russell groupies to target newbie unis - Universities are certain to take a battering in next month’s spending review but Jonathan Guthrie. explains how academic top dogs are determined to benefit from the chaos - 24th September
  • Vince spits fire in battle for Britons - The Pathe cockerel crows, a scratchy newsreel rolls and a TV presenter brings you news of grave import from Vincent Cable, minister for moral indignation - 23rd September
  • Tieless guys should get knotted pronto - It is a momentous day when a column with the magisterial heft of Friday Notebook launches a campaign concerning an issue as critically important to national wellbeing as gentlemen’s neckwear - 18th September
  • Irate unionists vie for the vexed factor - The Trades Union Congress next week will resemble a kind of left-wing political talent show. So Notebook presents its exclusive form guide to the contestants - 10th September
  • Ban(n)s read on Wrapit couple - It is always a very special day when a starry-eyed couple of directors are disqualified by the Insolvency Service - 19th August
  • Outside Edge: A real-life flight of fancy for the fed-up - Put-upon customer service workers have a new hero - 14th August
  • Characterful brands gain in translation - The allure of the Chinese market is prompting western companies to have their names translated into Chinese. It is a ticklish task, since Mandarin characters can have phonetic and descriptive meanings - 6th August
  • 101 uses for an older employee - Now that the government plans to abolish the default retirement age of 65, what should managers do with all the oldies - 29th July
  • Salmond stumbles on Tripoli hazard - The ever-plausible Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland, says that BP, a company keen to drill for oil in Libya, never lobbied his government to release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi - 23rd July
  • The Nazification of English abuse - Casual use of the word ‘Nazi’ trivialises the political phenomenon and its many victims. It also reveals a lack of imagination in one’s choice of totalitarians - 16th July
  • Wiseguys offer food industry protection - Minister Andrew Lansley wants food companies to finance public health campaigns. Notebook eavesdropped on one surprise visit he paid to a food processor - 9th July
  • Why the CBI should be girl crazy - Recruiting an able woman as the business group’s new director-general would signal that the renascent private sector is not just a boy’s club - 3rd July
  • BP team gains a US of A leader - Jonathan Guthrie imagines a telephone exchange between Barack Obama, US president, and Bob Dudley, the non-British BP executive in charge of the oil spill clean-up operation in the Gulf of Mexico - 26th June
  • Corporal punishment for the body politic - This Budget was always going to hurt the public sector a lot more than it was going to hurt Mr Osborne or his supporters in business - 23rd June
  • Horn of plenty is set to run dry - The World Cup may be only a week old but England's vuvuzela supply chain is under strain - 18th June
  • Oil, oil everywhere, so Tony H is sunk - BP's chief executive seems effectively to have been fired by Barack Obama - 11th June
  • Business backers cool for schools - The expansion of independent academies will create opportunities for business sponsors to help turn around struggling schools. Jonathan Guthrie runs through a few educational establishments leading executives might be tempted to set up - 3rd June
  • Red top terror for Lord Bountifuls - If you chair an over-generous remuneration committee and you are of a nervous disposition, you had better not read this article - 20th May
  • Getting a wriggle on to woo Whigs - One result of the UK coalition is that the Liberal Democrats are swamped with demand for corporate packages at their September conference - 15th May
  • Archery lessons in Sherwood Forest - As a new film about Robin Hood hits cinemas, Nottinghamshire celebrates its most famous son by teaching tourists to shoot with a long bow - 8th May
  • How the marketing war was lost - The election campaign has proved what business people always suspected: politicians have no grasp of basic sales and marketing techniques - 6th May
  • The name’s Bond, Junk Bond - The release of the latest Bond film has been suspended due to MGM’s financial difficulties, but ‘Quantum of Penury’, the next spy epic, could be made on a reduced budget - 29th April
  • Jeeves squares the business vote - Business leaders have signed a letter supporting plans by the upper-crust Tory leadership to reverse part of the National Insurance tax rise. Jonathan Guthrie imagines the scene - 8th April
  • A Will to Conquer the budget deficit - 1st April
  • The creditworthy pay for banker-bashing - The only question is how long financiers will remain in the stocks to divert attention from politicians’ own failures - 25th March
  • Taking a Leaf out of Nissan’s book - The carmaker’s electric runabout will be the first mass-market car to bear a botanically-inspired name, making a refreshing change from such macho handles as Ram and Jaguar - 20th March
  • T5 is working but BA won’t be - British Airways staff have voted to strike over a long-running dispute with the troubled flag carrier. Without a crew, flights will not be quite the same - 12th March
  • United v City in unfriendly match - The attempt to buy Manchester United by City figures led by Keith Harris, chairman of stockbroker Seymour Pierce, has drawn attention away from an audacious counterbid - 4th March
  • TUC offers a clock watcher’s charter - It is incumbent on right-thinking employees to clock on in precise accordance with their contractual obligations - 4th March
  • Abbey Road: All you need is cash - By catalysing an online fundraising campaign via its website, the National Trust has a good chance of buying the historic London studio, a scheme that could earn the business-savvy charity a lot of money - 19th February
  • Charlie and the factory closure - Jonathan Guthrie imagines what would have happened if Kraft took over Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory instead of Cadbury’s - 2nd February
  • The really useless therapy group - Have some sympathy for the former Masters of the Universe. ‘It’s very common for high-achieving guys to be troubled by feelings of social uselessness’ - 5th February
  • Go west, young entrepreneur - 29th January
  • Reading between the battle lines - Kraft’s fight to buy Cadbury has revived a near-extinct transactional patois that allows members of a secretive sub-culture to communicate in terms that are obscure to “straight” society - 22nd January
  • Hester is a number, not a free man - Stephen Hester, boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, said the bank had to pay big bonuses because it was a ‘prisoner of the marketplace’, a new phrase that will linger long after its originator is forgotten - 15th January
  • Frostages forced to shirk from home - 9th January

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2008

  • Outside Edge: If you can fake it, you will make it - Authenticity was already a buzzword in business and politics before the credit crunch and will become an essential virtue. If you can fake authenticity, you will have it made - 29th December 2008
  • Times are tight for gala fundraisers - In a white-collar recession, it is a cold economic climate for the high rollers and well-heeled in which to stump up thousands for charity - 20th December 2008
  • Gyms face slim pickings - The fitness industry does not appear to be in robust health. Clubs will have limited room for manoeuvre in a serious sales downturn - 18th December 2008
  • Struggling with fees as bell tolls over jobs - Thousands of middle-class parents battle to pay for private education as the UK grinds into recession - 18th December 2008
  • A car industry rescue just does not wash - a redundant motor assembly worker is deemed to be 10 times more tragic than a workless bank clerk - 11th December 2008
  • Let us call off the bank-burning posse - The witch-finders have overreached themselves in claiming that banks are unreasonably cutting off credit to viable small companies - 4th December 2008
  • Peace, love and just a little material gain - It benefits everyone for social entrepreneurs to offer a competing form of business model to the dividend-driven company - 27th November 2008
  • A struggle to save Christmas - Alistair Darling has delivered the festive prerequisites. Now the recipients of his largesse must throw caution to the wind too - 25th November 2008
  • Ways Darling can revive ailing businesses - A proportion of a mooted £5bn in accelerated infrastructure spending should be set aside for small enterprises - 20th November 2008
  • Coldly efficient predators of loan market - The police and trading standards officers raided the £1.2m mansion just before 8am, parking across the drive. The suspected loan shark, who has a reputation for beating up defaulters, might have done a runner. But he was unfazed, affable even. He discussed his interior decor with the arresting officers crowding into his house before they took him away... - 13th November 2008
  • Pubs fall victim to the perils of lone drinking - Canny publicans have morphed into restaurateurs in pursuit of fatter margins, with beer as a loss leader - 4th November 2008
  • Bling fails to dazzle in volatile gold market - Britain’s jewellers are experiencing tough trading that may deepen over the Christmas period because of swings in precious metal prices and rock-bottom consumer confidence - 30th October 2008
  • Last words of an unrepentant optimist - The wild music of the hunt is growing louder. I have reneged on my contract to accentuate the negative and now I must pay - 23rd October 2008
  • How buy-to-let became a mug’s game - The capital gains that lured latecomers have evaporated, swallowing their deposits and leaving some with negative equity - 16th October 2008
  • Come back, Mr Mainwaring, your country needs you - banks could usefully re-employ the old-school bank managers they once pensioned off as ‘dead wood’ - 9th October 2008
  • To the chancellor, I commend this Carp - Carp invokes an animal exemplifying toughness. It is also an anagram of an adjective describing the current trading outlook - 2nd October 2008
  • How to cope with the anti-business mood - a move to set unpopular varieties of financial specialist adrift in an open boat is even taking place among City folk - 25th September 2008
  • Labour’s ‘enterprise revolution’ is over - The situation for start-ups will worsen with the takeover of HBOS, a champion of value to small business borrowers - 22nd September 2008
  • Brown’s lagging indicators - The UK prime minister subconsciously wants to be a loft insulation installer. There can be no other explanation for that thing he does with his hands - 12th September 2008
  • Dilbert will need to think outside the cubicle - Estate agents, politicians and journalists have poor reputations. The difference with engineers is they deserve better - 11th September 2008
  • How unions can avoid redundancy - The solution is to declare independence from the UK Labour party, to which most of them are aligned - 4th September 2008
  • Respectability and red tape at the bikers’ bash - Most profits are ploughed back into future attractions, says a Hells Angel event organiser – last year, they paid for Status Quo to perform - 28th August 2008
  • Why a bust is boom time for happynomics - The governor of the Bank of England was on the money, if not in it, when he turned down his own bonus recently - 7th August 2008
  • There is hope yet for science park toilers - A gloomy conclusion would be that technology investment is doomed to dwindle away to nothing in the UK - 31st July 2008
  • The company will always make a comeback - No other organisations set prices as efficiently or pursue market experiments so single-mindedly - 24th July 2008
  • Hotels look to a boom without thrills - The austerity hoteliers believe they can maintain their cracking pace of growth through the current economic turbulence - 17th July 2008
  • How to sack someone and stay their friend - The looming UK recession gives managers the opportunity to achieve infamy through the cack-handed implementation of redundancies - 10th July 2008
  • All the low-carbon fun of Formula One - It is disturbing to picture what the British Grand Prix would be like if it were environmentally friendly - 3rd July 2008
  • Antony Gormley is to blame for all this - Bloinggg! Workers assembling the 60m “Aspire” sculpture in Nottingham were following the traditional engineering practice of whacking recalcitrant bolts with a dirty great hammer. Bloinggg! Watching the monument rear upwards earlier this week, spectators were supposed to feel inspired. Bloinggg! I felt only dread - 26th June 2008
  • How washed-up UK resorts can turn the tide - The full horror of Blackpool’s decline dawned on me during a visit last year. I had hoped to stay in a friendly, family-run B&B. I wound up in a decaying dosshouse whose despairing owner was sliding into poverty - 19th June 2008
  • An ‘exodus’ is not the only problem on tax - The quest for low corporate taxes would have curious consequences if pursued too seriously - 12th June 2008
  • An inscrutable island race as seen from Japan - I have just returned from a fact-finding trip to Japan. This puts me in a good position to provide a business traveller’s guide to the inscrutable inhabitants of a remote, wave-racked archipelago - 5th June 2008
  • An ex-Dragon goes from belly up to belly ache - Kenneth Williams’ lament “Infamy, infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” could easily be the subtitle for Business Nightmares, a new book by Rachel Elnaugh - 1st May 2008
  • Exit, pursued by a boor - One curious consequence of lay-offs in the City could be a rash of discrimination claims from women bankers. The cap on damages in an ordinary unfair dismissal case is £63,000. But there is no limit on the pay-out you can claim for gender discrimination - 29th April 2008
  • Subprime crisis? Nothing to do with us, gov - This spring is drear and Lowryesque for many business people. Credit shortages and weak sales numbers march across the landscape like wan mill workers. But the litigation lawyer, in contrast, is emerging into a Technicolor Disney wonderland - 24th April 2008
  • Al-Yamamah: the case for defence - It is hard to feel indignant over rumours that a man fiddles his income tax if you believe he is a murderer. For this reason, High Court criticism of the government for quashing a probe into alleged corruption at BAE Systems has left me cold - 17th April 2008
  • Why the banks make business fume - Did your witless younger brother ever borrow your shiny new bike when you were a kid? Witless younger brothers being what they are, he probably returned it with the paint scratched and the bell missing - 10th April 2008
  • ‘Vultures’ circle distressed homes - Anyone with a For Sale sign outside their dwelling these days is likely to find flyers for “sale and rentback” businesses fluttering through their letterboxes - 29th March 2008
  • Webcast your way to 15 minutes of obscurity - Andy Warhol said that in future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. He was wrong. In future everyone will be in their own 15-minute webcast. But no one will watch it - 27th March 2008
  • The great British curry house loses its spice - The credit squeeze has distracted attention from a far more insidious threat to our island way of life: a looming shortage of curry - 12th March 2008
  • Why the ‘whatever’ speech is welcome - Budget 2008 - The challenge facing Alistair Darling as he presented his first Budget was to reclaim his reputation in business for being rather dull. His brief spell in office had transformed him from a mild-mannered time-server into the Byronic Chancellor: mad, bad and impoverishing to know - 13th March 2008
  • Time for Darling to enforce more efficiency - The musical My Fair Lady features a song entitled “Why Can’t a Woman be More like a Man?” Business people watching Alistair Darling’s first Budget next week will feel similar sentiments, which could be summed up rather less catchily as “Why Can’t the Public Sector be More Like the Private?” - 6th March 2008
  • We feel broke, but not for a lack of money - Let a harmonica player quaver a blues for the British bourgeoisie, which has fallen on hard times. Tumbleweed is rolling down a Henley street past boarded-up wine bars and antique shops. On the evening train back to Tunbridge Wells, solicitors slump dog-tired from their day’s toil in the nit-picking fields. By the dusty roadside in St Albans a property consultant holds a crude sign proclaiming: “Will work for claret.” - 28th February 2008
  • On the bright side of the downturn - This is a good time to be a pawnbroker. The UK, as we are often reminded, has amassed a £1,000bn “personal debt mountain”. Credit is drying up and 1m people are coming off low fixed-rate mortgages - 21st February 2008
  • First the credit crisis, now the fashion crisis - Wouldn’t you know it? You get invited to the first must-attend economic slowdown in ages and you simply haven’t a thing to wear. But it’s tough knowing what clothes to buy. The palette, naturally, should be subdued. Ash grey, maybe? And as for fabric, why not channel that new eco-friendly vibe? Something in organic sackcloth, perhaps? - 14th February 2008
  • Siblings aim to wrap up the market - It’s not what you give, it’s how you give it. That is what Annika Bosanquet, founder of the high-end packaging business Wrapology, learned from the Trobriand Islanders of Australasia while studying anth­ropology - 13th February 2008
  • The daily struggle just to keep on trucking - I thought trucking would be a blast. I would rumble around in a huge “rig”, eating Yorkies, parping the air horns chauvinistically at women motorists and chatting on CB radio to colleagues called Smokey Bear and Rubber Chicken - 6th February 2008
  • The dangers of talking dutty at work - Once upon a time three Tombliboos – Ooo, Eee and Un – lived together in the Tombliboo Bush. They played with their friend Igglepiggle, took rides in the Pinky Ponk and all loved each other very much. Then Ooo hurt his back, lost his job and complained that Eee had subjected him to homophobic taunts such as “faggot” and “bitch”. Big hug? No chance. See you in court - 30th January 2008
  • Hold on for dear life, try to enjoy the ride - There is curious comfort in the correction in world markets and accompanying prophecies of recession, even as we watch our investments wobble in value and our job prospects deteriorate - 23rd January 2008
  • Listen to the Lilliputians, for they may grow - Some professionals are powerful although scarce. Scottish Labour MPs for example. Conversely, political clout may diminish in inverse proportion to rising numbers, as the plight of small business owners illustrates. At a time when new enterprises are proliferating, government policy is increasingly hostile to their interests. Nor, judging from the raw deal many small companies get from banks, are big corporations more accommodating - 16th January 2008
  • Three cheers for falling property prices - Worryingly, UK house prices rose by 1.3 per cent during December, according to the Halifax. There is a real danger the residential property market is on the turn. Improvements in October and November, when prices fell 0.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent, are being reversed. We can only pray that the downward trend will resume this month, fulfilling optimists’ forecasts of a 10-15 per cent slump in 2008. Hold your nerve, Merv. Keep those interest rates high - 9th January 2008

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