"Speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino" - Sen. John McCain "Basically a bunch of short-selling spivs and speculators" - Alex Salmond "Hedge fund wolf packs shorting British banks" - (arr.) Vince Cable/Lord Oakeshott Populist politicians have wasted no time in jumping onto the tabloid bandwagon, started by the Daily Express and the Daily Mail, in denouncing short selling as the reason behind our financial woes. Politicians should look closer to home if they wish to apportion blame...... Short selling is a financial instrument used by derivatives traders (the most skilled traders in any company). Derivatives are used to "hedge" the large risks taken by banks and fund managers in order to increase efficiency. These profits can now be passed on to the consumer in the form of cheaper mortgages and 0% balance transfers on credit cards - making for a big, happy business which contributes to the national economy. Unfortunately, the economy in Britain has been propped up over the last decade by an over-inflated property market, and damaged by a government which has borrowed more than it can afford to repay. Gordon Brown's artificial manipulation of the economy in order to maintain the illusion that he conquered "boom and bust" has led to a larger than expected exposure to the credit crunch - the British economy is now paying the price for years of mis-management. Every report that I have read blaming "short selling" comes from someone who clearly has little idea of what short selling is. When you point the figer, there are three pointing back at you.