Bos - "Those decisions which helped kill manufacturing, and laid the ground for the primacy of a finance industry, might not having been in Scotland's best interest."
Hold on - The scottish have known all about financial bubbles since one of their own put together the calamitous Darien Scheme of 1695-1700. This essentially cut Scotlands legs out from under it and the Union of the Crowns was essentially England bailing the scots out. Amusingly, the company set up to administer this handout went on to become the Royal Bank of Scotland - which in the here and now saw another megalomaniac scot take it on an aquisition binge and ultimately turn a train wreck.
For the most I don't recall Scots commentators talking about their financial services, especially the Edinburgh fund management industry with anything but smug satisfaction and pride. Those banks firms are now preparing to quite Scotland of course. At the risk of being glib, the union started with Scottish financiers being rubbish at numbers, and it could well end the same way.
Mclaurin, Watt and Napier would not be impressed.
whilst the Darien scheme may have been foolish, a large part of it's failure was engineered by English restrictions on free trade.