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I Love Mondays: The autobiography of Sir Alec Reed CBE by Judi Bevan, Alec Reed

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CHAPTER 9Coping with crisis

I HAD REMAINED A TORY SUPPORTER from my days in the Young Conservatives, although I had not played an active part since I started Reed. What happened in the early 1980s in Britain was so painful that it shook my faith in free-market capitalism. In the short term, it also showed that giving my staff free shares was not the smartest thing to do, because they saw them fall heavily. However, those who held them for a few years eventually made good profits.

In my enthusiasm, I failed to grasp just how badly our business would be hit by the recession. Instead of retrenching, cutting back on staff and closing marginal branches, I continued to expand, opening nine new employment agency branches and eight new Medicare outlets ...

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