It is a salutary tale told by a member of the Financial Times team that broke the story — regular readers will recognise parts of Built on a Lie — and the investing public of Middle England is likely to get very cross indeed when they read it. Never mind the disclaimers and the legalese in the client service agreements, they were — to use a City term for which more colourful aphorisms exist — legged over good and proper. None of the principal characters emerge with much credit but there are villains and victims a plenty.
Walker ends his book with the hope that Woodford will in the end get his “comeuppance”. He could not have imagined that its publication would instead coincide with the financier’s attempt — seemingly successful — to return to the investment world, advising about the same portfolio of companies that led to his downfall, and accompanied by the same team of cheerleaders. MPs are rightly fuming about this. But the silence from most of the financial world is deafening. The only sounds are the glug-glug of confidence draining from the system, and the distant popping of champagne corks, at a party staged at our expense.