Treasury Select Committee MPs accuse funds of cashing in on misery

Times Online – Hedge funds were accused by MPs yesterday of gambling against the taxpayer when they bet that the share prices of British banks would fall.

Appearing before the Treasury Select Committee, four leading hedge fund managers were told by John McFall, the committee’s chairman: “You’re snubbing the public; not only that, but you’re making shedloads of money.”

The hedge fund heavyweights — Paul Marshall, of Marshall Wace, Douglas Shaw, of BlackRock, Chris Hohn, of TCI, and Stephen Zimmerman, of NewSmith Capital Partners — came under particular attack over the practice of short-selling, only a day after it emerged that Paulson & Co, a renowned American hedge fund, had made an estimated £270 million in profits from betting against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , which is majority-owned by the State.

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