EU Council boss says it started as harmless fun but compulsion drove him to waste billions
European Council President Charles Michel is in hot water after admitting he spent the EU's €1.8 trillion budget shorting GameStop stock. A tearful and repentant Michel told Le Chou that he is seeking counselling for what is a long-standing addiction.
Michel started playing the stock market early in lockdown to pass the time but what was initially a harmless past time involving a few euros here and there has turned out to have serious consequences.
The former Belgian PM, whose favourite film is Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps reportedly asked his Council services for access to the EU's long-term budget - the MFF - "just to check it was all there", before betting the house on what he thought was a sure thing.
But as the last few days have shown, the stock market is a mug's game. Redditors bought stock en masse in GameStop - a US video game retailer - costing hedge funds and casual market-jockeys like Michel hundreds of billions.
"We didn't think he'd do something like this," one Council source told Le Chou. "Normally, he just sits on top of the cash and pretends he's Scrooge McDuck or those guys from Breaking Bad."
Council lawyers are now scrambling to see if the transaction can be reversed, as the loss of more than €1 trillion would reportedly be "a bit of a PR blunder".