Money managers under the microscope
In the thick of it
Hedge funds must be getting used to being at the centre of negative attention.
However, even after 18 months which have seen them blamed for the credit crisis, infuriate investors by blocking redemptions and subject to a host of new rules designed to put a leash on the sector, it seems there are still ways to ruffle the feathers anew.
Chris Addison, stand-up comic and Malcolm Tucker’s “unbaked gingerbread man” at the heart of BBC satirical comedy The Thick of It, managed to leave mouths agape with a joke at a recent corprate gig for hedge fund traders, according to an interview in today’s Guardian.
“It was about the proposal that they should have to go on a register,” he says.
“I suggested that would be good for paedophiles because they would become the second most despised group of people who have to put their name on a list.”
It didn’t go down that well, apparently. And Addison reckons it’s got something to do with the new fashion to take offence at any whiff of controversy when the gags start to fly, a la Ross and Brand or Jimmy Carr, but he also puts it down to the nature of the beast.
“Generally, people like being mildly ribbed,” he says. “The people who don’t are people who have to make a terrific effort to believe what they’re doing is worth getting out of bed for.”