Crispin Odey hates the European Union even more than he loves his chickens. This is a quantifiable fact: While the hedge fund manager spent only £250,000 to erect a Palladian temple fit for his fowl, he dropped three-and-a-half times as much backing the Leave campaign in 2016. And it worked! His money helped blind the people of Britain to the historic mistake they were about to make with fanciful promises of a bright new future for Albion sans consequences and reality (and also with fear of Polish people).
What’s more, tricking Britons out of the EU helped pad Odey’s bottom line. Knowing that a “leave” vote would tank the British economy, Odey went very, very short, which worked for at least a day. But his own belief that his favored course would be a financial disaster for his country has proven wrong, at least in the relatively short term, and returned him to a now three-year-longpath of losing money that leaves him just 190% shy of his high-water mark.
Is this his fault? Of course it is not. Like many of his colleagues, he’s been making the right moves. It’s just that the world’s central bankers stubbornly refuse to let the global economy collapse in this era of populism that Odey’s allies used so skillfully 18 months ago. Don’t these hateful experts and bureaucrats know that “fairy dust” is only to be used to Houdini countries out of their primary trading blocks and decidedly not towards the mitigation of such?
Take Crispin Odey, whose main hedge fund has tumbled by two thirds in three years because of bets against the market. He blames his losses partly on banks that helped troubled companies to keep their own investments intact.
“As a bear, this market has been so painful,” the fund manager wrote in a letter to investors after his Odey European Inc. fund declined more than 20 percent last year in its third successive annual loss. “Every occasion in which a company gets caught between a squeeze in margin and an inability, because of competitive conditions, to pass on cost increases, banks have come to the rescue….”
“Loan covenants have been waived, lease obligations relaxed -- fairy dust has been applied," Odey wrote, citing Tullow Oil Plc’s rescheduling of loan repayments. Odey is among the short sellers of the London-based oil and gas producer….
“For now, all the excitement is around the fact that fear no longer guards the forest,” Odey said. A conscious policy by central banks to keep interest rates low “is ensuring that the global boom has nothing to slow it down.”