Readers may recall comment here from time to time on the plight of Tom Hayes who was originally sentenced to a staggering fourteen years for rigging Libor. This was reduced to eleven and a half years (described as exemplary) on appeal and now, finally, he is out of HMP next Friday 29th January 2021. His solicitor, Karen Todner, says “the fight continues to prove Tom’s innocence.” It would be foolish for me to claim that this should be straightforward but it’s passing strange that Tom should have received a sentence which would be more appropriate for an armed robber caught in the act. Further it is even more passing strange that his line managers – Tom was only 26 years old when he started swinging around capital markets – have got clean away.
Finally, Tom’s wife Sarah, herself a solicitor, has been an A1 brick throughout all this and I trust that for her efforts alone society gets behind clearing Tom.
Last Friday’s Guardian featured an account of some Irish punter who sent £98,000 to Betfair to fund his bet on the American presidential election. Staggeringly Betfair’s accounting staff managed to lose this sum and it took about eight weeks to sort matters out. There are two causes: the first is that Betfair has developed what is in effect a monopoly and has therefore gone to seed through absence of competition and the second is that those extra-statutory guessers at the Gambling Commission have gone round with a very sharp machete creating headless chickens on a heroic scale at Betfair and, as it happens, elsewhere.
I eventually got my problems at Betfair sorted out by the intervention of two very senior managers at Paddy Power, who took over Betfair. They were sensible and well-mannered. However, there is no escaping the fact that there is a really serious management problem at Betfair to be solved.
Elsewhere, Orosur (OMI) have this morning updated the market on drilling results in Colombia. They are of fairly limited scope for enthusiasm, but they are sensational. At some point the American majors will surely buy out OMI. It is just a matter of time. I bought 200,000 last week at 27p.