Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who Lost On HBOS?

Not the first time HBOS has taken an early morning dive

Sorry- OT. But if all those "bank robbers" made such a killing on shorting HBOS and then talking it down, who lost?

See, someone must have sold at the panicky bottom so those bandits could close their shorts. And we know there were real transactions because at 160m shares traded, market volume was the highest for at least 5 years.

So who was it?

Pension funds? Unlikely, because they'd never be able to make decisions like that in a couple of hours. Insurance funds? Ditto. Private investors? Unlikely to have enough volume, and anyway, personal experience tells me that the service to private sellers breaks down at times like this.

No, the likeliest losers are other City spivs of one kind or another. So frankly, who cares?


There is one thing...

Let's hope this whole experience hasn't rattled the Bank of England so much they spend the long weekend writing blank cheques to the banks. As a taxpayer, I find that emergency meeting this pm concerning.

End of OT.

PS Today I phoned my broker. Well, more specifically, I phoned my supplier of low cost index tracking funds to sort out an admin issue. It took ages to get through and when I did, it sounded more like I was talking to someone at Custer's Last Stand. Above a background soundtrack of shouted instructions and gunfire, he vouched safe it had been a "total nightmare" since Monday, with thousands of freaked retail investors dumping everything. When he finally managed to get my account up on his screen, he informed me it was "shot to pieces". What!!?? I enquired calmly. Then he said he couldn't read his screen because the system had "locked him out". Again. Could I phone back on Tuesday? Client comfort, nul points.

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