Wednesday 2 February 2011

Vanity Capitalism & EMI: Guy Hands Over

On the subject of vanity investing, this looks like the end of a little saga we've been mocking since the start (ya see, ToryBoys, we know all about this irrational capitalists thing).

Yes, the grip of Guy 'Shaky' Hands on EMI has finally faltered. What a crazy story. The great master of creative securitisation (second only to Enron - believe me, they did a few) wound up doing this ridiculous vanity deal, his due diligence
consisting in large measure of asking (wealthy) teenagers of his acquaintance how much they'd be willing to stump up for downloads.

Three years and much grief & comic drama later, it is over.

But seriously though, one last word on 'irrationality' and capitalism. Markets depend on people taking opposing views and backing themselves. Without this there is none of the creative hubbub that makes the world turn upon its axis. Think 'dialectic', you lefties out there, and maybe you'll start to understand.

And contrary views competing in the marketplace is a damn' sight better than fighting in the streets.



KoR said...

And contrary views competing in the marketplace is a damn' sight better than fighting in the streets.

Indeed (pedantic note), first observed by Hesiod 700 BCE.

Anonymous said...

In principle, there's nothing to stop Hands tapping some more backers for equity in order to buy EMI from Citi, especially now shorn of £2.2B in debt. Who actually took a hair-cut, or in the age of QE, isn't that relevant and they just ran the printing presses?

tory boys never grow up said...

"And contrary views competing in the marketplace is a damn' sight better than fighting in the streets"

And I for one would not disagree with that either - social democrats have never denied that there is a pivotal role for markets.

Yes of course markets rely on people taking contrary views - but they also depend on the provsion of reasonably accurate and transparent information which didn't appear to occur in this case. For those interested in tax avoidance there is also a point about the manner in which these structures are financed through high coupon debt instruments issued by Channel Islands entities and similar. Osborne mad noises about addressing this before the election - he hasn't yet.

Dick the Prick said...

We've defo reached media overload; all content now. Can't educate people about gardening if they live in a desert:

Anonymous said...

Citi have put this 'acquisition' around as a wonderful deal for Citi.

So they used to be a bank, but now we have branched out into the music industry.

In the US they used to be a bank but they are now a realtor.

This has got to be the middle of the end for the bank.

Nick Drew said...

thanks for elevating the tone, Mr Grano ! (I have in the past been likened to Horace ...)

Osborne mad noises - now, now, ToryBoys ... otherwise, once again *sighs* we appear to be in agreement, I must try harder to annoy you

great link, Dick

anons - I had Citi marked down for extinction before Lehman: something odd going on there for a long time