Simon Cawkwell, nicknamed the "King of the short sellers" in London, made 250,000 pounds ($650,000) in less than an hour this month by betting on the market when it was down.
"I love a crisis because that's when people are stupid," he said with a broad grin.
"I've always liked fast-moving markets because the fools make more mistakes so I'm able to profit by it."
In the sumptuous surroundings of his flat-cum-office in the upmarket London district of South Kensington, Cawkwell gazes at four computer screens filled with stock prices and makes a confident prediction.
"I'll probably make three million pounds profit this year," he said.
With a personality as big as his considerable frame, 61-year-old Cawkwell is not, by his own admission, a modest man.
"I work on the assumption that I'm intellectually superior to 99 people out of one hundred and I'd give the other man a good run for his money," he said.
"I think very quickly and carefully. The fools panic and I don't panic."
Short-selling is typically the term by which investors, often hedge funds, pay a fee to borrow but not buy shares, and then bet on them falling.
The practice has been blamed for contributing to volatile stock markets.
But when the British authorities banned short-selling on about 30 companies, Cawkwell simply transferred his attention elsewhere.
"I'm still short-selling, on other companies," he said.
Cawkwell is happy to offer his opinions on the looming recession.
He may be a gambler through and through, but he says even he would never have attempted the "mad gamble" of the British government over the past decade.
He reserves particular criticism for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's actions in his time as a finance minister, blaming him for making cheap credit too easily available.
"People have been deceived on a massive scale," he says. "Brown knew about all of this. It was a mad gamble to keep on expanding credit forever but you cannot expand credit forever."
He foresees deep problems ahead.
"I expect massive unemployment. There will be deep impoverishment and bankruptcies," he says.
"I really think it can lead to a civil unrest. It is really very serious, we're talking about people whose lives are shattered."
But, if the worst comes to pass, Cawkwell can see only one outcome for him personally.
"I shall make a good deal of money," he says.
ninemsn 7 Oct 2008
What ??? !!! ??? He's THE ONLY ONE doing this ?? !!
There are MANY who are. Approx 5 years ago, colleague was told by a minority in the 'know' to be cashed up, as there will a time soon to by up CHEAP. This minority is a specific group of people in the finance industry.
JUST LIKE THE STOCK MARKET CRASH, that began in the 20's THIS IS AN ORCHESTRATED EVENT, THAT A SELECT FEW MAKE AN UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNT OF MONEY !
THE ROTHSCHILDS (who initially inbred, to keep the fortunes within the family),
THE BILDERBERG GROUP are amongst the ones who steer us FINANCIALLY