The Editor 

Smoke and mirrors

John Hughman

Smoke and mirrors

Since I wrote about it in my column last week, the saga involving Burford Capital and “short activist” Muddy Waters has taken a series of extreme twists and turns that would make an Alpine road look positively Roman. I won’t go into detail – I will leave that to Mr Bearbull who has tried to make sense of Burford’s numbers. But they can be summarised as follows: a lengthy accounting-focused rebuttal from Burford and a series of chunky-ish director share purchases; an interjection from fellow short seller Gotham City welcoming scrutiny of Burford; another volley from Burford threatening legal hellfire and brimstone against the market manipulators dragging down its share price; a counter-rebuttal from Muddy Waters, including a rejection of the insinuations that it was involved in the “spoofing and layering” identified by the US academic Burford had employed to prove the manipulation.

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