According to Citywire on Thursday, Barclays makes Crispin Odey “very excited”. The quote in the headline isn’t to be found in the article, but he is reported as saying that he thinks the shares stand at less than half the value of their asset backing. We should pay attention to Odey here. For years he was short of bank shares, anticipating the credit crunch, and sweated as the prices moved against him.

He was proved right in the end, and the clients who stuck with him made a lot of money. One bank he took care never to short was Northern Rock, where his wife Nicola Pease was a non-exec (which must have made for a few sticky domestic moments). Pease has banking in her blood, as a member of one of the family banks that makes up Barclays today. Doubtless Odey is being as dispassionate in his analysis today as he was in 2008. If you’re as excited as he is, then it’s not too late – the price fell 1% to 166p on Friday.

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