The conservative party is a puppet of the same market forces that have caused the economic collapse, as the fop Cameron goes on the news and attacks the government for their failures that made the economic problem worse at the same time the spivs in his party are being subsidised by the scum that are causing the collapse.
Tory hedge fund donors made £12m short-selling on Barclays as its share price plummeted
By Michael Lea
Last updated at 11:35 PM on 23rd January 2009
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A hedge fund run by two Tory donors made a £12million killing in days by exploiting the collapse of Barclays shares, it was revealed yesterday.
Financiers Paul Ruddock and David Craigen have donated more than £300,000 to the party, most of it since David Cameron became leader.
Within hours of the ban on the controversial practice of short-selling being lifted last Friday, their company Lansdowne Partners sold shares in Barclays worth £28.4million.
They were bought back on Wednesday, by which time the bank's value had nose-dived by almost £1 per share, netting a handsome profit for the financiers' investors.
Profit: British hedge fund Lansdowne Partners made around £12million by betting on the share price of Barclays plunging this week
Although the deal was legitimate, short-selling has been blamed for undermining the banking sector and the latest revelation is sure to reopen criticism of the practice.
Lansdowne Partners is reported to have previously made £100million by betting that Northern Rock would collapse.
Mr Ruddock, who has an estimated fortune of £350million, has donated £259,500 in cash and £6,095 through sponsorship to the Tories since 2003, according to Electoral Commission records. Mr Craigen gave £50,000 to the party in 2007.
Mr Cameron has come under fire during the financial crisis for apparently refusing to criticise hedge fund managers who make millions from predicting that the value of bank shares will plummet. He denies this is because they put money in the Tory war chest.
Labour MP John Spellar, a Government whip, said last night: 'Yet again the Tories are up to their knees in cash from people who are shorting the British economy.'
Backbencher Stephen Pound added: 'I thought we were now in the age of responsibility. These are two City spivs who should hang their heads in shame.'
LibDem Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott said: 'Short sellers like Lansdowne make millions betting British banks will go down. The Financial Services Authority shouldn't let them - and the Tories shouldn't take their dirty money.'
Plunge: Barclays shares fell 25 per cent in value last Friday
Short-selling is a way of making money from falling share prices. An investor borrows shares in a company he thinks he is going to fall in value from a broker and then sells them.
He waits for the price to drop before buying the same number of shares and returning them to the broker. The investor makes a profit on the difference.
The controversial practice was temporarily banned by the FSA last September, but the ban was lifted by regulators last Friday in a move which infuriated Chancellor Alistair Darling.
Treasury sources suggested he had wanted the ban to stay in place but FSA chairman Lord Turner insisted that there was no evidence that 'short selling, or abusive short selling, has a major role' in the problems affecting the banking sector.
Last night the Tories hit back by pointing out that Labour City minister Lord Myners was a director of GLG Partners, which has admitted short-selling in Bradford and Bingley.
They also claimed that Labour's £1million donor Jon Aisbitt had made money from short-selling.
Oxford-educated Mr Ruddock, who is married with two daughters, was appointed by Gordon Brown as unpaid chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum in July 2007.
Friends of Mr Ruddock last night pointed out that he had donated millions of pounds to charities and the arts in Britain.
'He is one of the most generous philanthropists there is and his political donations pale into insignificance against the enormous sums he has given to, and raised for, good causes,' one said. 'But he prefers to keep this secret.'
Referring to the money the party has received from hedge fund financiers, a Conservative spokesman said: 'These donations are legal and comply with Electoral Commission rules.'
A Lansdowne Partners spokesman said: 'Lansdowne is a highly-regarded investment institution and invests considerable sums in UK businesses on behalf of its investors, which include charities, pension funds and university endowments.
'Individuals' private donations are a matter for the people concerned and are not related to the company.'