Big earners and big spenders

This is the time of the year when we earth-bound schleps sit around feeling a mixture of envy and stupefaction as we come to terms with the scale of bonuses being trousered by those Masters of the Universe over in the City of London.

by Matthew Gwyther, MT editor

I console myself with the thought that while they're all charging across London at 6.10am in their chauffeured Mercs en route to their finance houses, I'm still enjoying 40 winks in my bed (assuming the cat hasn't got the munchies and is trying to break down the bedroom door).

Well, in 2007 these financiers have made their way out of the Square Mile and into MT's Top 100 Entrepreneurs league table, where they dominate the top 10. Four of the first five run financial services businesses in areas such as broking, trading and investment management. Peter Cruddas, son of a Smithfield meat porter, is No. 1 - and well done to him. But it's not all going to him - he has created nearly 400 jobs in his business.

Those who make money out of money had one helluva year in 2006. The investment banks, hedge funders and private equity attack dogs were falling over each other in a frenzy of dealmaking. Financial leveraging is reaching giddy heights. Some of us are getting nervous that it might all end in tears.

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