"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Puritan Gift - the rise and the role of Wall Street, MBA's and Accountants in the post war decline and export of US manufacturing industy

THE PURITAN GIFT Triumph, Collapse and Revival of an American Dream by Kenneth Hopper & William Hopper I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007 Website Amazon

THE PURITAN GIFT traces the origins and characteristics of an American managerial culture which, over the course of three centuries, turned a handful of small colonies into the greatest economic and political power on earth. It argues that the energy, social mobility, competitiveness and capacity for innovation, all of which lie at the heart of that culture, have their origins in the discipline and ethos of America’s first wave of European immigrants: the Puritans.

Essential reading for the fall and rise of post WWII US manufacturing industry the malign rise of Management Schools and their graduates and the role of accountnats and the relentless demnds for increased quaterly returns being reported to support an ever rising share price and ultimately the reliance not on shareholders funds but funds from banks.

On November 4, 2008, Peter Day of BBC Global Business interviewed Kenneth and William about THE PURITAN GIFT. Visit Day's Global Business page and click on "Listen (23 mins)".

Short video describing the book

The cavity magnetron was invented in November 1939 by two British scientists, Drs Randall and Boot, working at Birmingham (UK) University under Professor Mark Oliphant. There was a need then for shorter-wavelength, higher-frequency oscillators for more accurate radar detection of planes, U-boats, etc, at frequencies that existing glass-valve oscillators couldn't generate. Randall and Boot (aged 22 at the time) came up with the idea of a "cavity magnetron" that produced high-power centimetric radar.

Early in 1940 Sir Henry Tizard suggested to Winston Churchill that Britain should disclose its scientific secrets on military matters to the USA and Canada in exchange for desperately needed assistance in technology and production. Tizard was Rector of the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London and had been chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Survey of Air Defence since its formation in 1935; this committee had been largely responsible for starting and promoting the work on radar in the UK. In 1939 Tizard was the chief scientific advisor to the Air Ministry and was a central figure in organizing science for the British war effort. The proposal for an exchange of information with the USA and Canada was the subject of intense debate after Churchill became prime minister in May 1940. The resulting maneuvers, both bureau-cratic and political, at this highly critical time just after the fall of France now appear quite extraordinarily short sighted. This sorry situation is well described in Zimmerman’s book Top Secret Exchange.

Churchill gave final approval on August 9th for a mission headed by Tizard to go to Canada and the USA.

James P. Baxter, the official U.S. historian of scientific developments in WW II, said of the first cavity magnetron brought from the UK to North America :

When the members of the Tizard Mission brought one toAmerica in 1940, they carried the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores. It sparked the whole development of microwave radar and constituted the most important item in reverse Lend-Lease.

The Hoppers give this as an example of the skills of US industry in adopting ideas and revving up manufacturing ...The outstanding performance of the magnetron disclosed by the Tizard Mission in September 1940 persuaded the Americans of the need for a major laboratory to develop microwave radar. The result was the immediate establishment of the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA., which became the major US radar laboratory.

So successful was the programme at the Radiation Laboratory that the first experimental airborne 10cm radar was tested in a Douglas B18, with Bowen on board, on 27 March 1941, only seven months after the Tizard Mission had arrived in the USA. Their first 10cm AI (SCR720), accompanied by Bowen, was demonstrated in the UK in August 1941 and later became known as AI Mk IX.

In the course of the next year the Radiation Laboratory grew in size and soon became the most important and productive radar laboratory in the USA; by the end of the war the staff numbered about 4,000.

The Tizard Mission, was highly successful. It drew the attention of the Americans to the importance of radar as a weapon of war, introduced them to airborne radar, accelerated the development of centimetre-wave radar by giving them the cavity magnetron and helped them to set up the highly successful Radiation Laboratory.

Coins in his pocket

The major problem the UK had in ming their cavity magnetrons was in making the multiple chambered device central to the valve - it was for this reason that help was sought from the US and Canadian allies. An engineer drafted in to the meetings, had a habit of shuffling coins from his pocket from one hand to the other.

He realised that carefully designed and engineered slices woul enable rapid and precise fabrication. A secret they failed to share initially with their allies.

The Germans first discovered the multi-cavity magnetron on February 2nd, 1943, when
a British Pathfinder bomber on a raid on Cologne was shot down near Rotterdam, the plane containing an H2S airborne radar using a 10 cm wavelength magnetron (type CV 76).

The explosive charge, designed to destroy the radar set when the plane crashed, failed to explode.

The Germans were astonished at this microwave radar and very rapidly made Chinese style copies of the magnetron (even as far as copying the type number). Later in 1944
an H2X radar was captured from a crashed American bomber and the 3 cm wavelength magnetron was copied and was in production by early 1945.

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