The controversy surrounding Crispin Odey‘s political donations to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign shows no signs of abating.
As we reported back in May in a piece entitled, the Brexit Millionaires, where a channel four investigation claimed that prominent hedge fund manager, Crispin Odey, is among the UK financiers profiting from Brexit turmoil.
Fast forward to today and Crispin Odey’s political donations was a recent topic of discussion in the UK’s lower House of Commons.
Indeed, John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, questioned whether there was a conflict of interest for Crispin Odey’s flagship fund betting on the UK leaving the EU without a deal and then making political donations to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.
“Crispin Odey’s political donations for-profits have been dismissed by the multi-millionaire hedge fund manager/founder of London-based Odey Asset Management as utter crap”
Crispin Odey’s political donations for-profits have been dismissed by the multi-millionaire hedge fund manager/founder of London-based Odey Asset Management as “utter crap”
So Crispin Odey, founder of London-based Odey Asset Management has adamantly rejected the view that he donated to a pro-Brexit leadership campaign to profit from a possible no-deal Brexit.
Crispin Odey donated £10,000 to Mr. Johnson’s leadership campaign in June and his flagship fund Odey Asset Management has been betting against the pound which has shed 5.28% one year to date.
Odey Asset Management positions in the oldest surviving currency, the pound had switched between bets on rising and falling prices since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Could Crispin Odey’s political donations to pro-Brexit Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign land the hedge fund manager in hot water?
Crispin Odey was named by a Labour MP in the Commons on September 30 for the bets he had taken against some UK stocks.
“They want to try and get at Boris. It doesn’t make any financial sense”
“They want to try and get at Boris. It doesn’t make any financial sense” said Crispin Odey. “It’s crap, it is” he said. “You have to understand nothing about financial markets to believe you hold a position for three years” added Crispin Odey.
Crispin Odey’s political donations are not something out of the ordinary in the hedge fund world
Indeed, George Soros, the Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist also funded the UK to remain in the EU so surely he too should come under the same spotlight, assuming that the issue is not about profits.
Moreover, in the US hedge funds contributed $101 million to federal candidates, PACs and outside spending groups in the 2018 election cycle, according to Open Secrets.
The hedge fund industry did not emerge as a significant political player or campaign contributor until 2007.
“Democrats have mainly benefited from these donors. Democratic candidates and incumbents received $8.7 million, while Republicans received $2.9 million” writes Open Secrets. This should come as no surprise, bearing in mind the globalist elites will make political donations to the party that best serves their interests.
“Does anyone have any influence on Boris? If you meet anyone who has any influence on Boris I’d like to meet them” – Crispin Odey
Crispin Odey’s political donations to a pro-Brexit party are out of lock-step with the global elitist agenda
Could the Brexit Millionaires investigation be a slide down a slippery slope to criminalizing political rivals?
“My political views are entirely different to the way I trade anything,” said Crispin Odey. “That’s why I don’t care very much what they say” he added.
So Crispin Odey is arguing that he has been a passionate Brexit man from the outset. He is so committed to the movement that he even pledges his private wealth to finance the campaign. Moreover, as an apolitical trader, Crispin Odey then decides to take positions to recuperate the expenses of the Brexit campaign.
Perhaps the point in question is when a fund manager finances a political movement knowing all too well that it is likely to hurt asset prices and then respond by taking a series of big short positions to profit from the turmoil. There could also be a conflict of interest here.
Nicholas Macpherson, former Treasury permanent secretary, tweeted his support for Philip Hammond, the former UK chancellor who is now an independent MP.
“Mr. Hammond is right to question the political connections of some of the hedge funds with a financial interest in no deal. They are shorting the pound and the country, with the British people the main loser” said Nicholas Macpherson.
Cynics of Crispin Odey’s political donations are also claiming that the pro-Brexit hedge fund manager influences the UK Prime minister Boris Johnson.
But Crispin Odey also denied having influence over or trying to influence, Mr. Johnson. “Does anyone have any influence on Boris? If you meet anyone who has any influence on Boris I’d like to meet them” said Crispin Odey.
“Bonds are very bad value and an easy place to be short” – Crispin Odey
While Crispin Odey’s political donations have been a tailwind for his short bets on the pound that has certainly not been the case concerning his short gilts
As I noted in a previous piece Crispin Odey is short gilts to the tune of more than the entire value of his portfolio.
The multimillionaire money manager has amassed a leveraged short position against long-dated bonds worth 154.8 percent of the €173m net total value of his European fund’s assets, according to investor documents seen by the Financial Times.
“Bonds are very bad value and an easy place to be short” he said. “The question is given that we live in a world in which we keep on creating money, at what point does that (value) start to come through?” said Crispin Odey.
To date, Crispin Odey is short gilts bet has not paid off. Instead, Brexit has provided that uncertainty which has boosted investors’ demand for gilts. UK gilts are currently hovering around 52-week highs which has also pushed their corresponding yields to an all-year low.
Perhaps too Crispin Odey’s political donations to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign is a storm in a teacup
“It’s a spurious story and it doesn’t have any legs” Mr. Odey said. “It’s a legless story that has somehow run away.” “Everyone is so determined not to imagine what the new Jerusalem [after Brexit] will be like” he added. “Boris will be a great prime minister in that new world”.