George Osborne did his best to seem concerned about the collapse of Carillion yesterday – but one of his many employers has made huge sums of money from the company’s demise.
The front page of the Evening Standard (pictured above) lamented the cost to the taxpayer of the firm’s collapse. And in his editorial, Osborne wrote:
“This matters for 20,000 anxious UK employees. It causes problems for government which, under all parties, used it to build railways, manage schools and maintain prisons.
“It raises concern about ongoing public services. And taxpayers will now have to pay — the issue is how much.”
That sounds very earnest. But the US wealth management firm which he advises has made millions from the company’s collapse.
Last March, when Osborne was still in Parliament, he revealed he was working one day a week for the Blackrock Investment Institute:
The entry also notes that he expects to receive equity in the company.
Now it has emerged that Blackrock is among financial speculators and hedge funds who bet that Carillion’s share price would fall after the company issued profit warnings last year.
The Financial News website reported:
“BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, is among a group of investors to have won from the collapse of Carillion, the UK construction company that went into liquidation this morning.”
The payout to Blackrock and others who backed a fall in Carillion’s share price was £80 million, according to an estimate from IHS Markit reported in the Guardian.
The article ads that “much more [is] likely to have been banked” by the firms since the initial slump.
Osborne can’t claim to champion the public interest while working for a firm benefiting from taxpayer’s losses…