My esteemed colleague Paul Horrell, a man who has a Cray super-computer where his brain should be, has already blogged about the fact that VW briefly became the world’s most valuable company this week.
This happened when Porsche announced that, after several years spent circling its prey and increasing its stake, it now controlled more than 74 per cent of VW shares, causing VW’s share value to rocket 348 per cent. With VW’s home state of Lower Saxony owning another 20 per cent, that only left five per cent for Frankfurt’s hedge fund traders, most of whom had been short-selling VW stock, in order to pocket a quick few million euros by artificially driving down its value, then buying it back at a reduced rate. Of course, the opposite happened, and they’ve lost out to the tune of £18bn.
You can read Paul’s considered assessment elsewhere on topgear.com, but here’s mine: haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! Heee heee heee haa haa haaa!!!! £18bn!!!!! That’s gonna hurt!!!!
Honestly. While thousands of us stare down the barrel of negative equity, wonder if we can hang onto our jobs, pay for Christmas presents and feed the kids, never mind keep up with escalating energy bills, all amidst continuing global economic panic, a bunch of tossers in Germany somehow manage – primarily through their own greed, let’s not be coy about this – to turn Volkswagen into the world’s most valuable company. Some of the stuff that’s been going on in the last month beggars belief, but this you really could not make up. Have they not learned anything??
Unsurprisingly, some of these ‘hedgies’ are complaining to the German regulator. They can go to hell. How ironic that they feel duped by Porsche, which apparently said back in March that the chances of it increasing its stake in VW to 75 per cent was ‘very small indeed’. The very people who have helped make Porsche the world’s most profitable car-maker have now been wrong-footed by the same company.
‘Hoist by their own petard’, I believe the phrase is.