Business: British Steel Gets a Yank

And pays millions to sign him

It was a deal more like baseball's free agent wars than one of the most unusual swaps in international business. A Scottish-born U.S. investment banker signed a contract to run one of England's largest government-owned companies. In return, the New York firm he is leaving will be compensated by receiving up to $4.1 million. Members of Parliament denounced the indemnity plan as "monstrous" and "farcical." One M.P. compared it to something straight out of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

More accurately, it seemed like a scene from Annie, with the failing British Steel Corporation as the orphan...

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