Letter: Profit motive

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The Independent Online
YOUR leader refers to "speculators ... like the Barlow Clowes victims" ("A crime, but no criminals", 21 January).

I was a victim but did not intend to be a speculator. I invested pounds 10,000 in the mid-1980s in the expectation of a 10 to 10.5 per cent return. This was to come from international trading of gilt-edged stock and the extra 0.5 per cent or so from buying cheap and selling dear - a normal commercial approach, I thought. Ten per cent was just above what was readily available then from, for example, building societies and well below the return from speculative investment in industry or in property around Canary Wharf.

Can someone provide a factual basis for saying that Barlow Clowes investors were "speculators hoping to make money above the odds"? This seems to have gained currency by frequent repetition.

Denis C Hardwick

London SE23