Despite sharp condemnation from Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, the hedge fund scavengers continue to short sell, betting against stocks they reckon will fall. Bailey said what they are doing: “might not be frankly in the interest of the economy, the interest of the people.”
Financier Crispin Odey claimed returns of as much as 20% on his short bets – £115 million ($132.6 million) from this year’s stock market crash. Marshall Wace, one of Europe’s biggest hedge funds, has recently built the largest short position against Lloyds Banking Group on record, reckoning that UK bank stocks, a barometer for the wider economy still have further to fall. Not all investors agree and other Marshall Wace buys suggest confidence in rising UK stock prices elsewhere. Shares in Lloyds have already more than halved this year, making it the biggest faller among Britain’s largest banks because it is particularly exposed to a domestic downturn.
What follows should be treated with some caution since data is not always certain. Financier birth dates are from old Companies House filings. Companies in this area are continually evolving and being re-incorporated so dates can be a moveable feast.
Paul Marshall, 21 August 1959, and Ian Wace, 25 January 1963 are co-founders of Marshall Wace and Crispin Odey, 31 January 1959 started his own Odey Asset Management outfit.
Wace has Sun, maybe Moon, Saturn in Aquarius with Saturn in a hard-edged opposition to Mars in flashy Leo square a ‘visionary’ and elusive Neptune; plus a pushily confident Jupiter in Pisces opposition Pluto in a can-be-charming square to Venus in Sagittarius. He’ll be seriously buffeted by the economically-challenging tr Uranus square tr Saturn in 2021/22; with a discouraging Solar Arc Pluto square Saturn in 2022.
Paul Marshall has his Sun, Uranus and Mercury spread out in Leo, which is a bankers’ sign. His Sun is conjunct Pluto and square Jupiter in money-magnet Scorpio; he has a passionately enthusiastic Venus Mars in Virgo; and an evasive Mercury square Neptune. He’s veering between panic and triumph till New Year, then moving into a confused, and at times downright devastating two years; recovering his mojo by 2024.
Crispin Odey is another Sun Aquarius in a rebellious and uncompromising opposition to Uranus; with Jupiter in Scorpio in a wildly enthusiastic opposition to Mars in heavyweight Taurus. His Mercury is also square Neptune. He’s facing a sexual assault charge later this month in court. His way ahead is a mix of great and terrible ahead. These guys live on the edge of a constant roller coaster of wild up and equally catastrophic downs. Tr Uranus square tr Saturn in 2021/22 will hit his Sun, Uranus which won’t be good news; he’s got a devastating Solar Arc Pluto conjunct Neptune into 2022; with some successes at the same time through 2022/23.
Aquarius is another sign often connected to the financially acquisitive despite its reputation for hippy humanitarianism.
If the following dates are sound then Marshall Wace has two on record of 11 June 1997 and 16 May 2002 – both of which are less than upbeat for a few years. The 1997 MW chart has tr Neptune square the Gemini Sun and then opposition Mars through 2021 and then 2023; and tr Pluto conjunct Neptune in 2022/23 which is a swamp. The 2002 MW chart chart has tr Uranus in a nerve-stretched square to Neptune now and through next year, with tr Saturn joining in by next spring which will be edgy in the extreme; tr Neptune is in an undermining square to Mars and Venus 2021/ 2023; and there will be major obstacles in 2023/24.
Odey Assets, 8 July 2002 and 16 December 2005, is more difficult to gauge since in both cases there’s a Jupiter tucked into the major configurations under stress. The Odey 2005 chart will have more than its fair share of ups and downs in 2021 with tr Uranus in hard aspect to Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. 2022/23 look undermining and disruptive with tr Neptune square the Sun Pluto and Solar Arc square Sun Pluto as well.
Lloyds Bank, 3 June 1765 and 1 January 2010, whose shares have fallen 50% this year are clearly limping in the confidence-stakes and it’ll be an exceptionally bumpy ride through 2021/22. But it doesn’t look on a par with the 2008 meltdown and aftermath. Like most banks it may take till mid decade to clear the problems of the pandemic lockdown.
Royal Bank of Scotland, 31 May 1727 will be buffeted in 2021/22. Virgin Money, also deemed to be a barometer of the UK economy, 3 March 1995 and 15 October 2018, shows much the same pattern of humps, bumps, shocks and grinding to a halt at patches up to 2023. And that’s echoed in the earlier post see March 13 2020. My feeling is that it’ll be tough and nervy but not as disastrous as the 2008/9 and aftermath crash.