Socialist Party
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24 September 2008

Them & us

Even fatter cats

ANDY HORNBY, who brought HBOS bank to the brink of collapse as chief executive, will retain his job following the Lloyds TSB takeover and is set for a 2 million shares windfall. That's on top of his 2 million a year salary (which is 81 times bigger than the average worker's wage) and Hornby will also retain his gold-plated pension pot of 2.4 million.

Meanwhile the Lloyds TSB's takeover of HBOS could see up to 30,000 jobs axed and 1,000 branches closed in an attempt to make 1 billion in annual savings.

The Unite union has vowed to fight any job losses. Deputy general secretary Graham Goddard said: "It's corporate greed that has brought the financial system to its knees, our members should not have to pay the price. We will not accept compulsory redundancies."

Selling HBOS short

THEY MAY not be the root cause of the current meltdown in the financial system but their greed certainly has made a massive contribution. Who? The so-called 'vulture investors' who engaged in the currently suspended shares swindle known as 'short-selling'.

These coke-snorting 'traders' (read 'parasites'), often working for the secretive hedge funds that make millions for their super-rich clients, take shares on loan from a broker for a specified amount of time.

They sell them immediately, hoping that the price will drop. When it does they buy them back at the lower price, pocketing the difference. Nine of these hedge funds (including the ironically named Harbinger Capital), targeted HBOS, short selling a large percentage of HBOS shares in a gamble worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Pig sick

ONE OF these gamblers, Philip Falcone of Harbinger, recently bought a 24 million home that has a room for his pet pig. He is reported to have made hundreds of millions gambling that HBOS's share price would plummet. This little piggy is said to have 'earned' 950 million last year.