Do you have sufficient ‘liquidity’, readers? Are you among those ‘hard-pressed working families’ who inhabit the ‘squeezed middle’? Has your salary been frozen or cut? Or are you out of a job altogether? Are you threatened with withdrawal of benefits because you have been sleeping with the curtain drawn while everyone else is out working? Or you about to be shunted out of London because you lost your housing subsidies?
Have you been tempted to prostitute yourself to rich businessmen looking to ‘sponsor a scholar’ and help you pay for your university education? Well never mind. If you aren’t feeling exactly flush with cash, you should take comfort from the fact that some people are doing very well indeed.
Tlake the ‘super rich hedge fund managers’, who this year, the Telegraph informs us, have made record profits, thanks largely to the Bank of England’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programme begun by Gordon Brown in 2009. As one hedge fund expert put it:
‘The masters of equity and credit trading strategies have done their homework in 2012 and reaped benefits turbocharged by an ocean of government-sponsored liquidity.’
Well good for them. And good to know the government has done so much to help them with the turbocharging. Michael Hintze, the founder of CQS, is similarly appreciative towards the powers-that-be, for the 32 percent profit he made on a $3.9bn (£2.4bn) ‘flagship multi-strategy fund’ by the end of November, declaring:
‘We have witnessed massively accommodative monetary policies globally since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008….Overall, I believe central bank actions will continue to support credit and equity markets in 2013.’
I bet they will. And then there is Michael Farmer, co-treasurer of the Tory party, who according to the Telegraph ‘had another top performing year investing on commodity markets’, with his ‘ flagship fund’ up 15 percent this year.
So let me get this straight: the Bank of England puts £375 billion into the economy in 2009 in response to a crisis that was largely caused by banking and investment malpractices and/or inadequate regulation of the financial sector. Since then the country has been subjected to a sado-economic regime that is slowly unraveling British society, because, as the government never stops telling us ‘we have all been living above our means.’
And now it turns out that hedge fund managers have grown even richer than they were before the crisis began, because the government chose to print money to solve the crisis?
OK, I get it. Even the Torygraph looks a little askance at these outlandish developments, musing on the possibility that ‘The industry’s success will sit uneasily with savers and pensioners who have been condemned to rock bottom interest rates and reduced annuity payments caused by QE-induced low gilt yields.’
And the Bank of England has conceded ‘that the beneficiaries of QE have been the investor classes while those relying on income have suffered’. Yes, that is a pity isn’t it? But don’t get despondent those of you who are ‘relying on income’ or wishing you could, because you know your leaders are on your side.
Take Gordon Brown, who began the QE programme in 2009. In 2011 Brown pocketed a tidy £70,000 for a speech given in La Vegas to an audience of, ahem, hedge fund managers. No doubt he was there to lecture them on social responsibility, in keeping with the stern Presbyterian socialist instincts that we saw so often displayed when he was in government.
But then again, maybe not. Because in 2010 Brown personally intervened to prevent the EU from introducing new legislation that would have subjected hedge funds to closer regulation. So this is a man who knows where his priorities lie, or at least which side his bread is buttered on.
Meanwhile three northern Labour councils have warned of ‘Rising crime, increasing community tension and more problems on our streets‘ because of the latest round of government cuts. And even the Tory shires are facing punishment from the ‘Communities Secretary’ (Don’t laugh) from that grotesque Wallace and Gromit villain Eric Pickles.
So happy New Year to all, and may 2013 bring us all to greater liquidity, or better still, towards a world in which in which the rich and their servants are no longer able to mock even the most elementary standards of decency, fairness and justice with the impunity that they currently display.