Exactly 20 years ago this week, 2.4m Britons scrambled to buy shares in the state-owned telephone company, British Telecom (BT), before it was floated on the stock market. At almost £4bn, it was the biggest stock market sale in history.
It gave the world the concept of mass-market privatization. It bristled with marketing innovations. It sparked a revolution in share ownership. It heartened the government to privatise more. And it provided a model from which many other countries, including ex-communist ones, were happy to borrow.