One of my pleasures is to listen to the accounts of great business enterprises told by their CEOs and CFOs to investor conferences. They seldom fail to impress with their sure grasp of the essentials of business success in a complex world.

These always contain the threat of competition from close rivals and, even more dangerous, the disruption of their business models and their relationship with customers, from quarters previously unknown. They are in it for the long run. Short-termism clearly does not make for business success...

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