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Archbishops condemn short-sellers

The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have condemned the practices of City traders and backed the FSA’s ban on short-selling.

In an article for the Spectator, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams slammed “paper transactions with no concrete outcome beyond profit for traders” and said that these practices could cause “real and crippling damage”.

Meanwhile in a previous speech, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, called the traders that profits from banks’ demise “bank robbers and asset strippers”.

Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers chief executive officer David Bennett says he welcomes the Archbishops’ interest in the sector but that their criticisms of short-selling are unfair.

He says: “It is market abuse which is wrong and this can occur both when holding either long or short positions.”

“Transparency is the key here. Markets need both the views of people who think the share price is going to fall as well as people believing the market will rise in order that the markets can function efficiently.”

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