The Big Short inspires impromptu investments by City workers

Edith Hancock
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Visitors Enjoy The Racing At The Cheltenham Festival 2012
High flyers are betting against the market to win big at the bookies (Source: Getty)

CITY film buffs will be waiting with bated breath for the release of The Big Short, which hits UK cinema screens this Friday.

The financial epic sees Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell playing four rogue traders who made millions out of the 2008 financial crisis when they figured out that the credit and US housing bubble of the mid-2000s would end in catastrophe, and decided to bet against the market.

While the blockbuster aims to explore the intriguing business of short selling, it seems that short bets of a different kind are still rife on the streets of the City.

This week, bookies at Ladbrokes have had to shorten the odds on how low oil prices will go after many well-heeled workers were seen piling into the firm’s Moorgate branch.

Yesterday, the bookmaker offered what they’re calling a “very generous” 10/1 that the price of oil will fall under $10 per barrel by the end of the year – but at the start of the year, less than three weeks ago, the odds stood at a whopping 100/1.

Sadly for Ladbrokes, a couple of City types managed to place £10 and £20 bets on prices going this low last week, so the firm could be losing out on a few thousand pounds if crude keeps plummeting.

Ladbrokes’ Alex Donohue said his company is “desperately hoping for some stability in the industry, but the bankers seem to be hoping the opposite.” Those pesky short-sellers, eh? They get everywhere.

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