World of Business: The New Elizabethans

The New Elizabethans

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century, Britain became famous for its merchant adventurers, bold entrepreneurs who sailed to the ends of the earth in search of wealth. If that wealth happened to be taken from a Spanish treasure fleet, or if there was a whiff of privateering and freebootery about their operations, that was all part of the game.

Something like that spirit has reawakened in the reign of Elizabeth's namesake, the present monarch. In this similarly acquisitive age, new Elizabethans like Lord Hanson and Sir James Goldsmith appear as contemporary Sir Francis Drakes, wreaking their...

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