The hysteria against short-selling of shares is as crazy as was the political hysteria against long-buying of oil. Every trade has to have a buyer and a seller, how else could a market function? Nevertheless journalists didn’t take long to figure out that they could compare the FSA register of declared short sellers against the Electoral Commission’s register of donors.
Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott is up in arms as a result about the Tories taking money from people who buy and sell stocks. Before he says something he regrets he should have a word with one of the party’s biggest donors, Paul Marshall who is worth some £300m. Marshall also funds CentreForum, the orange tinged think-tank. His donations are well into seven-figures.
He is half of Marshall-Wace, hedge fund managers, who are evil speculators who, whisper it softly, short shares! In fact they have a reputation amongst City brokers for having a particularly high churn. Just as well given the hundreds of thousands of Marshall’s profits that have ended up in the LibDem’s coffers.
The Labour Party as well as individual politicians like Hilary Benn have also pocketed plenty of money from hedgies. Let he who is without shorter’s profits throw the first regulation…