The Big Picture

Vincent Boland: City of London up in Arms over SoftBank asset’s Nasdaq move

The rebuff is bad news for the British government and exposes the City’s many weaknesses in the post-globalisation era, where financial centres must compete on intrinsic strengths rather than global appeal

Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank: the technology investment group has incurred the wrath of the British establishment by listing its company Arm Holdings on the Nasdaq instead of the London stock exchange. Picture: Getty

The first words that greet a visitor to the corporate website of SoftBank are “Happiness for everyone”. They invoke the mystical aura cultivated by Masayoshi Son, the technology investment group’s founder. They are also a little jarring, because SoftBank and Son have made a lot of people seriously unhappy recently.

Start with SoftBank’s investors, who include some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds. They poured at least $150 billion over the past five years ...