Business Diary: The senators who were selling America short
Thursday 06 May 2010
Good, old-fashioned hypocrisy in action? A Wall Street Journal investigation has found that at least 13 members of the US Congress made money during the financial crisis by using exchange traded funds and other vehicles to bet on falls in the bond or stock markets. Many of them went on to make high-profile speeches in which they criticised investment banks for short selling. Do what we say, not what we do.
Thiam's society debut has to be postponed
Tidjane Thiam has kept a relatively low profile with the press since stepping up to the chief executive's office at Prudential last year. All that was meant to change yesterday, with a round table lunch scheduled so that Thiam could impress City hacks with details of the massive fundraising Pru intended to launch. Cue a last-minute cancellation of the invite when the FSA put the mockers on the cash call.
Gross lays into the credit rating vampires
Bill Gross, the boss of the giant bond investor Pimco, is on Mr Angry duty, firing off a furious missive to investors about the failings of the credit ratings agencies during the sovereign debt crisis and just about every other financial meltdown. "They have brazenly sold their reputations for unbiased judgement to the very companies they were standing in judgement upon," Gross concludes, before warning that we've not seen the last of them. "Don't bury them, however; like vampires in the dead of night, they will outlast us all."
Let's not give Gowers a shot at a hat-trick
Note to recruitment agencies everywhere. Think twice about suggesting clients hire Andrew Gowers, the former editor of the Financial Times. After leaving journalism, Gowers took a senior role in communications at Lehman Brothers. When the bank collapsed, Gowers popped up in a similar position at oil giant BP, now confronting its own disaster. Is he cursed?
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