Government minister Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm has been criticised for exploiting the coronavirus crisis after telling clients it provided a chance to make “super normal returns”.
Somerset Capital Management (SCM), which manages investments in emerging markets, told clients that the dive in stock market valuations around the world since the pandemic took hold had made “excellent entry points for investors”.
Cue outrage, blah, blah.
Keir Starmer, the new leader of the Labour party, said: “Nobody should be seeking to take advantage of this crisis. We should all be asking ourselves what we can do for our country and each other.”
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said: “This attitude is about as sick as it comes. Profit seeking from people’s suffering is nearly as low as you can get. When we come through this we need a windfall tax on the profiteers.”
Investors buying cheap stocks is a bad idea apparently. And what has the world come to?
However, Jolyon Maugham, the campaigning lawyer who backed legal action against Brexit, described the criticism as “a bit silly”.
“No fan of Rees-Mogg, and of course super-profits must be properly taxed, but this is a bit silly. SCM wants to invest in bombed out share prices. This is actually a good thing as higher share prices will make it easier for those businesses to attract fresh capital and survive,” Maugham said on Twitter.
When Soapy Joe’s the rational one in the room you know society has a significant problem.