The BBC were on the phone early this morning seeking my views on Boris Johnson’s ‘greed is good speech’. Here is a press release on what I had to say on the matter . . . .
Multi-millionaire businessman Kevin Green today gave a cautious welcome to London Mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘greed is good speech’.
“As with all things from the mouth of Boris, his speech was a bit of a curate’s egg – good in parts,” Green said.
“You can agree with some of what he says, but strongly disagree with the rest of it.”
Boris Johnson used the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture to declare that inequality is essential to fostering ‘the spirit of envy’ and hailed greed as a ‘valuable spur to economic activity’.
The London mayor called for the ‘Gordon Gekkos of London’ to display their greed to promote economic growth.
Johnson said: “I don't believe that economic equality is possible; indeed some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses that is, like greed, a valuable spur to economic activity.”
But he added: “I hope there is no return to the spirit of ‘loads-a-money’ heartlessness – figuratively riffling banknotes under the noses of the homeless. And I hope that this time the Gordon Gekkos of London are conspicuous not just for their greed, valid motivator though greed may be for economic progress, as for what they give and do for the rest of the population, many of whom have experienced real falls in their incomes over the last five years.”
Burry Port based Green, 50, runs a massive private property portfolio and other enterprises in a number of business sectors.
He said: “Boris is always entertaining and provocative.
“Greed is a vice and no-one with a moral compass should be advocating that.
“But there is nothing wrong in having a passion and a highly-tuned enthusiasm for making money.
“Money makes the world go round and anyone who makes lots of money can use that money carefully to sow the seeds for other businesses and people to develop and generate more wealth in the economy.
“I work as a wealth coach helping inspire other people to become millionaires. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious and wanting more wealth for yourself. But you also have to be tuned in to the real world and appreciate there are people out there less fortunate than yourself.
“I work closely with selected charities such as the Make A Wish foundation. Generating money is fine as long as it is linked to your passion in life. Helping others is also important.
“I was once homeless and I know what it is like to be looking for the next crust. I am a self-made millionaire and am proud of what I have achieved. But I also recognise and appreciate that there are people less fortunate than myself.
“Being enthusiastic and passionate about your work is fine. Being greedy is something else.
“I work very closely with young business people as a Big Ideas role model for the Welsh Government. I like to talk to young budding entrepreneurs and stress to them that it is only right and proper to operate with strong ethical standards and a strong moral compass in the current economic climate.”