My best friend works in the City, handling their PR and smoothing over the cracks with weasel words and pretty graphs. You have to admit at the moment, he must be having a nightmare of a job as the “trust” and “integrity” of the City is crumbling around our ears.
This week, ++John and ++Rowan have both spoken out against short-selling – a practice that few of us understand, except that when it works it makes a shedload of money and when it doesn’t work, the economy goes under and the traders still get to buy a new Porsche. My friend sent me a Spectator article which pointed out that it isn’t the bank’s fault, just the regulators and the government’s. A big boy did it and ran away. I suspect they are all culpable in this one; but this year I’d like my Porsche in red please.
I see from the FT though that (not for the first time) the Church, or more particularly the Church Commissioners have been also doing the dirty, allowing their stock to be sold short and fueling the gambling-on-failure spiral of greed. The FT article does suggest that the Church profited from short selling (in fact, if I understand it, my pension stands to lose out if the price actually is driven down) but by supplying the stock to be shorted, we have been shown up as hypocrites.
Fair cop, guv.
I expect the Church Commisioners to get a thorough bollocking. Apologise. Sort out our own house and behave like we’re supposed to behave. This is not like what the rest of the City is doing which is blaming everyone else and chosing which SatNav Model they would like in the glittering prize for failure.
A History of Short-Selling http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1843255,00.html (a but US orientated, but then again, it is their fault)
Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_selling
The City will be the first to accuse the Church of hypocrisy, a case of the plank in their own eye. However, if the Church Commissioners behave decently, act promptly and ethically and sort things out then a step in the right direction will have been made.