Abstract This chapter analyses the nature of the strategic miscalculations in nationalized British coal, steel, and cars since the early 1970s. Specifically, it examines the extent to which the initial strategic miscalculations were causes by an uncritical use of return on investment (ROI) techniques and the extent to which subsequent operational retreat was determined by profit and loss considerations. The general conclusion is that financial (mis)calculation was a secondary problem in enterprises which did not identify their productive problems and could not solve their market difficulties. In our three cases, large-scale investment was futile when the state did not safeguard the market for the final product.