25 August 2014
An attempt at finding a reasonably accurate analogy for the issue of the pound in Scottish independence negotiations. Constructive criticism is very welcome.
John and Mary get married and together they set up a business making wedding cakes. They call it Sterling Cakes, and it's quite a success.
They open a shop with a big sign above the door, create a website which is well listed on Google and despite the ups and downs of the economy they manage to make enough to live on, to employ a few staff and even a little profit now and then.
Sadly though after a few years their marriage fails - irreconcilable differences. When the time comes to divorce they don't feel they can be business partners either and decide to sell off the assets of the business. The shop, the van, the ovens etc are all divided sensibly and amicably.
John owes a lot of money on his credit card. Mary accepts that this has been created jointly, even if she wasn't happy with all the purchases, and that she ought to pay her fair share of the debt.
So far so good. However, John intends to use the name Sterling Cakes for his own new business. Mary says that she spent as many years as John building up goodwill and an excellent reputation for the business, and that this should be taken into account in the overall settlement. John says no, the name of the business and its reputation is not an asset.
Who is correct, John or Mary?