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Oct. 1 2009 - 1:56 pm | 122 views | 1 recommendation | 32 comments

On Goldman’s Reaction to the Lobbying Post

“Yes, we do refute his assertion that we conflated short-selling with naked short-selling,” a Goldman spokesman, Ed Canaday, told DealBook. “The document we left with legislators is very clear on that point — and is considerably longer than the three pages that Mr. Taibbi posted along with his blog.”

via Goldman Critic Assails Firm on Lobbying Effort – DealBook Blog – NYTimes.com.

So I saw the New York Times piece reporting Goldman’s reaction to the lobbying story. Incidentally, I thought the Times article was balanced and appropriate, so those of you who are sending me letters wondering why the Times reporter didn’t call me should know that I don’t believe they’re obligated to do that. I thought the piece was fine.

I did, however, want to address one thing. The Goldman response makes it seem like I’m the only one drawing the conclusion that they were conflating short-selling with naked short-selling. I have to point out that the only reason I got the documents in the first place is because staffers in the Senate came to the same conclusion. I know for a fact that at least two Senate aides came away from their interaction with Goldman believing that that graph about short interest the bank handed out was supposed to be relevant to the naked short-selling issue.


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  1. collapse expand
    Wes
    Wes

    So Goldman’s defense is that you cherry pick information to show on your blog?

    This is funny because if you read the blog, all it says is that GS cherry picks random data not related to naked short-selling and sends it to Congress.

    Is this the GS way of fighting fire with fire?

  2. collapse expand

    I, for one, trust people who hire lobbyists to begin with to disclose the truth about their lobbying efforts. Shame on you, Mr. Taibbi, SHAME.

    I know various people who appear smartly appointed on televisions and in prestigious periodicals always say that lobbyists “do a lot of good” and “are a necessary element of our system,” but I have trouble believing that for however long before lobbyists existed Congress just made shit up when they got to a question they couldn’t answer. Should we hold a hearing, gentlemen? Call relevant experts to offer opinions? Nah, fuck it. Just put something in there about the Commerce Clause and let’s hit the head.

    • collapse expand

      Ha! That’s even funnier. If you read the whole document, the “Short interest” graph is definitely, without a doubt, intended to address the naked short selling issue. It’s in the section marked “Short selling and fails to deliver” and is sandwiched in between a title page arguing against more NSS restrictions, and another page arguing against NSS restrictions. If it’s not supposed to be about NSS, what is it supposed to be about?

      What a bunch of jokers.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2009
        THE CMKX SHAREHOLDERS COALITION FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES THE COMMENCEMENT OF LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE US SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) IN BOTH CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.

        The CMKX Shareholders Coalition for Justice announces the commencement of legal action against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in both Canada and the United States. The action follows complaints filed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Nevada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia, Canada. These complaints and the accompanying evidence allege that the SEC facilitated the counterfeiting of multi-millions of publicly traded stock shares by brokerage firms, many of which were implicated in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) felony crimes including counterfeiting and money laundering with organized crime.

        More specifically, the evidence submitted to the authorities in the case of CMKM Diamonds (ticker CMKX), believed to be the largest counterfeited stock in United States history, indicates that the SEC colluded with insiders of CMKX to sell hundreds of billions (and possibly trillions) of counterfeit shares, and aided and abetted in the cover-up of brokerage firms who allegedly sold over three hundred billion counterfeit shares of CMKX. With the addition of RICO penalties to investor losses the Coalition is seeking restitution of seven hundred and fifty million dollars ($750,000,000) from the SEC and those they colluded with, along with a freeze on all CMKX assets including land rights past and present currently under regulatory control.

        The Coalition is encouraging other victims of this crime to join our cause and form a coalition of companies to pursue a multi-trillion dollar class action in the near future.

        We have introduced evidence from the SEC themselves that prove they manipulated the market overall, and CMKX in particular, by not allowing short squeezes in these stocks, thus preventing the victim companies from recovering. The complaint alleges that the SEC attempted to conceal the crime by creating an illegal regulation referred to as the “Grandfather Clause” allowing the perpetrators the right to not deliver these phantom shares as required under the Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933 and subsequent amendments.

        The complaint alleges that the Grandfather Clause was developed in concert with the perpetrators in a closed door meeting in June 2004, and is also in violation of the shareholders‟ 5th Amendment Constitutional property rights. This view is shared by Mr. Rod Young, CEO of EagleTech Communications, who has stated “Every shareholder of any Company in America who purchased shares and cannot get them delivered has a cause of action against the SEC as an agency of the U.S. Federal Government for violation of their 5th Amendment Constitutional property rights.”

        EagleTech is just one of thousands of victim companies systematically manipulated and cellar-boxed by the brokerages under the supervision of the SEC and were then delisted / put out of business by the SEC when financially unable to meet their reporting and other business obligations, eliminating any obligation of the brokerage firms to deliver real shares or value to those they sold counterfeit stock to. Mr. Young goes on to claim ”The government‟s successful defense using the discretionary exemption from Tort Claims in most cases since the 1947 case „Elizabeth Dalehite, et al. v. United States‟ does not apply here. The SEC does not have discretion to suspend the settlement process (Grandfathering), even temporarily as they claim.”

        The SEC themselves have admitted in a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) meeting the true size and scope of the fraud committed, a fraud they facilitated and covered-up, and continue to cover up to this day. Significantly, the above comments relate directly to the Over the Counter (OTC) market alone.

        In a speech delivered by SEC Commissioner Paul S. Atkins, before the 34th Annual SIFMA Operations Conference, he states: http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2007/spch043007psa.htm

        “I can’t leave the topic of “fails” without touching on one more highly important issue currently facing the Commission. This goes back to the meaning of “fail” as a noun. The SEC has recently been involved in a very proactive (some might even say prudential) exercise with respect to the issue of fails in the OTC derivatives markets. In response to reports of widespread documentation problems in those markets, the SEC has joined forces with other regulators, most notably the Federal Reserve Board and Britain’s FSA, to encourage OTC market participants to clean up years of incomplete and inaccurate trade documentation. The need to act was clear.

        From all reports, the backlog of unconfirmed trades, which essentially are fails, and the widespread and unchecked use of novations in the credit derivatives markets had crippled risk management efforts and set the stage for a massive meltdown in certain default scenarios. Given the multi-trillion dollar aggregate notional amounts of the contracts involved, it was easy to see that the OTC derivatives dealers and their counterparties had created an operational problem similar in scope to the late 1960’s back-office crisis on Wall Street.”

        To conclude, we have the evidence that shows massive collusion to defraud the public by the systematic counterfeiting of financial instruments including stocks. We believe this collusion will be found to be the largest RICO (racketeering) crime in history, and that CMKM Diamonds, in particular, is the largest example of this fraud. It is, however, only one company among thousands that were victims.

        We demand that an independent special prosecutor be named to investigate this crime and the Securities and Exchange Commission in particular, as they were regulators with the duty to protect the public. They not only did not perform that duty, we allege they were complicit in the crime which has cost the public trillions of dollars. We also demand a Pecora style commission to oversee the clean-up of the market and to restore its integrity. Further updates on legal action will be forth coming.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    my concern about all of this matt is that i worry you are being led by the nose by patrick byrne and his ilk. short selling, clothed or not, is about being a skeptic. and you more than anyone have been all over the lack of skepticism from the moody’s et al (let alone from the average shithead on the analysis side of GS or their competitors).

    short selling is about keeping people honest. it is a necessary thing and without it you have nothing but touts and happy talk.

    i think you should be in touch with Sam Antar, who knows his way around scams and who i know is a fan of your work.

  4. collapse expand

    robertogreen,

    Sam Antar “knows his way around scams” because he was one of the major players in one of the biggest scams of our lifetime (everyone remember the Crazy Eddie ordeal?). Sam was the guy who turned states witness and ratted out the rest of his family to avoid jail time (and as a way of showing their gratitude, the prosecution let him off with 6 months house arrest instead). This guy is a scumbag, why would you even think he would have anything relevant to add to this topic? So far as I have been able to tell, it seems Mr. Antar is already heavily involved in the whole NSS issue, and it doesn’t appear that he is working for our team either.

    Nobody here is even talking about the merits of (legal) short selling, the argument here has been against naked short selling. We have enough problems already with GS already trying to conflate these two issues, we don’t need more lame attempts to muddy up the waters from you.

    • collapse expand

      yes, all that you have said about sam is true. he’s the first to point it out (i know him personally) to anyone and everyone, including the feds for whom he often lectures these days.

      that doesn’t discount his viewpoint. he’s been going after overstock.com and patrick byrne in what is something of a crusade. patrick byrne may or may not be what sam thinks he is (it is beyond my level of knowledge) but the argument is that naked short selling is a bad thing, and it is an argument that byrne is making to everyone who will listen. i’m wondering if matt (one of the great writers of modern journalism IMHO) is amongst those to whom byrne is whispering.

      if so, i think that the man has ulterior motives that would make me question the conclusions reached in matt’s previous post about NSS.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Lets give Matt the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he took time out to fact check the data that supports his argument. And if you’re asking that we keep away from the ad hominem and consider Sam Antar’s views, then by the merits of that argument, the same treatment should be given to Patrick Byrne’s case as well. Patrick Byrne is very outspoken on the topic of naked short selling, but he is certainly not the only person out there making this argument. Google Gary Matsumoto, he wrote a few pieces (and I think he is a reader here as well) that help shed some much needed light on this shadowy subject. An example of one of his pieces can be found here:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aB1jlqmFOTCA

        You’re asking me to look at the merits of the argument before I dismiss it based on the source, I certainly can do that. I am asking you to do the same.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Their document is apparently so clear that Senate aides can tell it isn’t.

  6. collapse expand

    Actually, they rebutted it, and not very well. You’d think with all that money they could afford a spokesperson with a working knowledge of the English language.

  7. collapse expand

    When will your NSS piece be online? It’s late man, I don’t wanna go out to the store now………….

  8. collapse expand

    robertogreen appears to be someone with the initials GW.

    An IP check can confirm that.

    • collapse expand

      surfish,

      I’m not 100% sure on that, some of the tell tale signs were missing…there was no reference to any work by “Tom Sykes” (or any of his other multiple online personalities) to back up his claims, and the word “baloney” was absent from either of his recent posts. This doesn’t mean that your hypothesis is entirely without merit though…the jury is still out on this one…

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      “robertogreen appears to be someone with the initials GW”.

      Yes, robertogreen is obviously the Patrick Byrne obsessed Gary Weiss.

      Run a search on “Gary Weiss Sam Antar” and you’ll find some very interesting information.

      For anyone who believes that Sam Antar has turned over a new leaf and is now a reformed criminal who see’s the light, I’ve got some land in South Florida I’d like to show you.

      Also, there are a lot of people here who obviously don’t understand the difference between short selling and naked short selling. No one is objecting to legal short selling. The problem is illegal naked short selling and fails to deliver.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Shorts do not have to work on the American model. Chances for major crime exist, even with simple shorts. **** Naked shorts leave their failure-to-deliver spore, of course. That’s part of how you know that a criminalized “hedge fund” is choosing to maximize its dishonest profits. Plus, of course, that the NSS is more exciting for the criminals. **** Massive naked shorting NSS and the associated Media Cancer have damaged more than 1,000 firms in 2006-2008. Calculating the labor effects and doing basic econometrics, the attacked firms (the largest 1,000, filtered for reasonable economic solidity) show a loss of 1,200,000 jobs. *** Economic terrorism is accurate enough at the single-company level. Economic treason is more like it for society as a whole. What these criminals have been doing with SEC and DTCC complicity has no connection to risk analysis or to other quant work. See the “1,000 Companies Attacked -> 1,200,000 Jobs Destroyed” piece at dailykos.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  9. collapse expand

    Hi Matt,

    I haven’t been able to read your naked short selling article yet. When will it be posted online?

    The topic however is familiar territory for me because I wrote a similar article back in March titled “The Phantoms of the Stock Market”.

    I don’t know if you got into the role of DTCC in your article since I haven’t read it yet. But anyway here’s an excerpt from my March article that you might enjoy.

    “DTCC is the organization that handles the transfer of stock ownership. They keep track of stocks that have “failed to deliver”. So they have full knowledge of how much naked short selling is going on, and who is doing it. You would think that when DTCC detects millions of shares a day in a particular stock that are failing to deliver, that they would sound the alert and report the guilty party to the authorities.

    But in typical Wall St. fashion DTCC keeps this information secret from the public. And nobody, not even the SEC seems to have direct access to this information. Apparently DTCC is unregulated. The finance industry seems to like to use the word “opaque” to describe this lack of “transparency”, but I prefer to just call it secretive. And here’s the kicker. DTCC is a private corporation and the owners of DTCC are none other than the big Wall St. firms. As it turns out Wall Street is just one big incestuous cesspool.”

    Incidentally, you and I seem to be following parallel tracks. Your Goldman Sachs articles are eerily similar to a series I did – right down to the Giant Squid analogy.

    “Goldman Sachs über alles”
    “Welcome to the Wall St. jungle”
    “The Phantoms of the Stock Market”
    “How Goldman Sachs whacked Bear Stearns”

    Kudos to you for bringing this story to the attention of the mass public. I can attest to how addictive the whole GS story is once it gets under your skin.

  10. collapse expand

    Matt
    I’m a fan of your work, but you are chasing your tail here. Naked shorting is a relatively small issue in the grand scheme. If your overall thesis is that it is rather scandalous that this issue hasn’t been effectively addressed, then I guess your point is valid. Unfortunately, there are many larger issues out there that need to be addressed. Goldman’s point here seems to be that the actual incidence of fails to deliver are low (true) and that short selling is generally good for the markets (true). Their objection to being held responsible for intentionally mis-marked trades (they were entered as long sales) is as old as the notion of prime brokerage and securities clearing itself. The SECs argument that Goldman was so egregious in not looking into the suspicious sales is legit. They paid a fine the same way Bear did in the AR Baron instance.
    The overall issue is the lack of straight through processing in the securities markets, the T+3 settlement cycle is insane in this day and age, but the impetus for changing that does not exist at this point. Preborrow is an expensive proposition that increases the cost of short selling and hampers the liquidity that the shorts do bring to the markets. That cost goes away in a T or T+1 settlement cycle.
    Go after Goldman on trading ahead of their client’s trades or for the absurd 7% underwriting toll they charge companies to go public, or go after them for continuing to dole out shares of hot IPOs to “calendar” traders who kick back a percentage of their gains to Goldman brokers….those are real scandals.

  11. collapse expand

    Matt, I am not sure if there is much to naked short selling. First off, when GM was around $2 and going down the tubes, there were no shares to short anywhere. To me, that indicates the whole naked short selling is not that big of a deal.

    Mark Cuban, who has been an unspoken critic of the stock market as Ponzi scheme, made a good point in that if your company is being brought down by short sellers, you can buy shares of your own stock on the cheap and squeeze the snot out of them.

    That can be difficult to do if your company is in debt and strapped for cash as Lehman was before falling. Heck, even mighty GS and GE had to hit up W. Buffett for cash then.

    And I think people forget how pissed off the public was with the intervention with regards to TARP and AIG. There was a lot of fury over having the government help out these firms. I don’t think GS was lobbying for Lehman to fail as much as the public wanted some of these greedy Wall Street assholes to feel some pain. When Lehman failed, and people saw the consequences to the overall economy, there was political capital to save Morgan and Goldman.

    I read David Einhorn’s comments about Lehman, and while everyone goes on about how brilliant he was for predicting their fall, I didn’t see anything great there.

    Naked shorting is not what brought down Lehman’s. What really did was undercutting the value of Lehman’s assets (level 3). I have looked into how these were valued using mark to market accounting, and it was so stupid I cannot tell you.

    The price of these assets had to be estimated, and the estimates were made using the ABX index, but the ABX index was/is not based on market value of these assets (they did not trade at the time of the crash, so there was no market) but on the insurance for these assets, which was otherwise known as credit default swaps.

    So you have an easy recipe for the shorts to make a killing. They bid up the insurance, thus devaluing Lehman’s assets at a time they have no access to cash, and wham-o, you make a killing shorting Lehman’s, Bear ETC.

    I think there is a lot more meat on the bone of looking into who manipulated the credit default swaps market for huge profits than naked shorting.

    BTW, all this stuff with mark to market accounting is also filled with sleaze. The group that put this into place was FASB. I thought the government would have to be the one to set accouting rules but nope. FASB is private.

    The entire system of how to count our dollars was left to a few people on the FASB board. I think there is a lot of meat on that bone too. Who the fuck are these people making decisions that in part caused the whole market to crash?

  12. collapse expand

    Hi Matt

    Did you see Goldman has changed their estimate for the monthly unemployed figure at the last minute the past 2 months (either last 2 or 2 of the last 3, I cannot keep track)

    For example they had a 200K estimate for the month but changed it yesterday to 250K. The number came in within about 10K

    Then they did the same thing last month in the other direction (it was either last month or 2 months ago)

    I just found this blurb:
    Congress’s Finance Committee get the numbers at 2PM the day prior.

    So the Congress’s finance committee gets the number the same day Goldman has been adjusting the numbers right ahead of the report… and both times they adjusted it, it came right in almost exact to their adjustment.

    I mean cmon… you might want to peak into that one.

    Mark
    fundmymutualfund.com

  13. collapse expand

    Matt,

    Re: Wyden’s Free Choice Act garroted by Baucus

    Just curious if you heard anything more from your sources in the Senate about how this went down. Love to see in on your truslant blog. Heard it from Ezra:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/the_status_quo_wins_in_health-.html

  14. collapse expand

    Hi Matt, I just saw your recent interviews regarding the crazy Bear Stearns Option Bet. The only reason why that interview had interested me was because I was one of the 60,000 shareholder victims in the Universal Express (USXP, now delisted) saga and the CEO’s 10 year+ battle and Whistleblowing going on with the SEC. If you get a chance visit this blog site http://www.blogcatalog.com/blog/richard-altomares-corporate-story and watch Richard Altomare’s Naked Short Selling Speech and especially around the 12:00 minute marker mentioning Bear Stearns. Shortly after this speech was aired the company was shut down and taken over by a court appointed SEC receiver. About a year later Bear Stearns goes down, the Universal Express story has been one of the craziest stories out there and was one hell of a manipulated stock. It sure does make you wonder who made that crazy bet, all I know is Altomare had touted for years his attempts to collect against a once 700 Mil jury verdict against “Naked Shorters”. It sure does make you wonder, I never have seen or read your stuff I’ll start checking it out. Thanks.

  15. collapse expand

    If adopted by our governments and private industry, the following simple plan could greatly improve our environment by cutting the carbon footprint by of office buildings by 50%

    In his radio address, President Obama said that innovation is needed to get us out of the mess we are in and I came up with with this idea: Most office space is very expensive yet it sits unused 70% of the time because most white collare work is scheduled for only one shift per day or only 45 hours out of a 168 hour week. 39% efficiency is completely unacceptable in today’s economic and ecological environment. If white collar work was scheduled for 2 different hour shifts each day instead of one, we could cut the overhead of $50,000/worker in half saving the Federal Government up to $100 billion per year.
    This simple plan will help our government and private industry in the following ways:

    •Save federal gov a trillion dollars in next 10 years

    •Exactly amount needed for universal healthcare

    •Reduce white-collar overhead costs by 50%

    •Reduce carbon footprint of office space by 50%

    •Reduce budget deficits for most state governments

    •Reduce our dependence on foreign oil

    •Make workers competitive in the global economy

    •Improve profits for all businesses and

    •Increase tax receipts for state/fed governments

    •Businesses can hire more employees & lower prices

    for details or comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenspaceguy

    http://www.whitecollargreenspaceblogspot.com

    whitecolla­­rgreenspa­c­eguy@hot­ma­il.com

    Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-truth-about-jobs-that_b_307642.html#postComment

    • collapse expand

      Working shifts seems like a minor sacrifice to help safe our economy and our way of living and give everyone healthcare. Our headquarters office is open from 6 am to 6 pm and most people go in at 6 am so they can get off early. If the office was open another 4 hours each day we could save billions by cutting the overhead in half. Everyone should have healthcare. The office could be open 17 hours a day and this would allow two 8 hour shifts per day and half hour lunches. All workers would get 40 hours per week. but the overhead cost would be cut in half. half as many computers, desks, phones, rest rooms. the rent would be cut in half since a 100,000 sq ft office would only need 50,000 sq ft. Savings would come by cancelling new construction and reducing the amount of office space that is leased. Because we sork in an electronic environment, work can be moved from shift to shift, desk to desk, office to office, similar to how telework functions. Blue collar workers were hard working and proud that their sweat and blood built this nation the last 100 years. They did not complain when they had to work different shifts so industry could get the full value of capital investments.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  16. collapse expand

    Hmm, for those who feel that Matt is trying to use naked short selling to explain the current financial hell hole we’re in, i think you’re short-changing his other writings for RS, this blog, plus interviews. It seems more that he’s just irritated with G$’s assertion that his recent post on their 3(+) page memo is off base. As I read through all these posts, it seems that those who are tsk-tsking here are on the same wave length as G$, but that’s just my perspective.

    As for the practice of short sells, here’s a lovely synopsis from the Motley Fool that covers short-selling, naked short-selling, and abusive short-selling – from acceptable to toxic practice: (http://www.fool.com/investing/dividends-income/2008/09/22/the-truth-about-naked-shorts.aspx).

    As for G$ coming out against Matt’s True/Slant post: this seems to loop back in to the criticism of Zero Hedge. If you can’t ably defend your own actions against the messenger, bring down the messenger; s/he’s just a blogger, cherry-picking, some ethnic group out to get us…ad hominem until the public loses interest and swoop in for the kill.

  17. collapse expand

    hey, I was just redirected here from another website (http://theweedfeed.wordpress.com/) because it said that this is worth checking out; and so, I’d like to say I really like what you’re doing here and I find your coverage of Goldman Sachs both fascinating and frightening.

  18. collapse expand

    What do you make of William Cohan’s characterization of the March 11th meeting – information which he notes he received in an interview with NY Fed Pub Information Officer Calvin Mitchell? (pg 25 “House of Cards”)When did Bloomberg receive Bernanke’s schedule?

  19. collapse expand

    Ok – Ive reached a boiling point on this stuff – the deceit, white collar looting of our system, the lack of accountability… Ive had enough.

    However I was recently asked a simple question by two 70 year olds after hearing about all this….

    “So, what do we do about it?”

    Ive already written my senator and rep – -what else?? Light my trashcan on fire? :-)

    Any suggestions about how to actually bring about some change?

    Thanks

  20. collapse expand

    Mark Faulk at his site http://www.faulkingtruth.com has been sounding the alarm about naked shorts for years. Back in June, 2006, he published excerpts from a letter to Christopher Cox and Senators Hagel and Dodd written in 2005 by a fired SEC attorney named Gary Aguirre.

    Excerpts from the Aguirre letter:

    “…Fixing the SEC so it can protect investors and capital markets from hedge fund abuse will not be an easy task. Those interests are not just the hedge funds. They include the financial industries that are receiving tens of billions of dollars in revenues for helping hedge funds cheat other market participants or close their eyes to the carnage. At the top of the list are the big investment banks, e.g., Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns. Those interests know how to reward friends and punish perceived enemies. Their tentacles reach far. They stopped the hedge fund investigation I was assigned to conduct. They cost me my job.

    …Likewise, the value investor has no clue that an attractively priced small cap is on its way to bankruptcy via the naked shorting of an $8 billion hedge fund.

    …An investment bank can help a hedge fund make and retain illegal profits in multiple ways. For example, its computers can be programmed to miss illegal hedge fund trading, e.g., naked shorts or wash trades.”

    These were my comments back in June, 2006:

    The danger of NSS is that it is a ‘bully attack’ by huge hedge funds and investment banks on the stock price of companies with small capitalization. You could technically make the attack against a large cap, too, if you could amass the funds needed. The famous George Soros short-selling attack on the Pound Sterling required 100’s of billions to wage; same basic concept .

    NSS ( and shorting in general ) causes stock prices to decline, because the short-seller has the element of surprise on his side, and can make his short-term profits before the target can defend itself. Shares decline, not because of bad earnings reports or other ‘real’ bad news, but because the short-selling against a stock ‘delivers’ bad news to a company’s share price, like a disease. If you see it as an external infection attack against the confidence in a company ( which is what the market runs on ), it’s easier to understand NSS.

    The huge funds can literally dive in like sharks, take a big chunk of flesh ( profit ) out of small companies, and then return quickly to cooler waters, until they strike again. The small investors are simply passengers on this ship- if the short sellers’ attack causes the small cap’s stock to sink and stay sunk, then the small mutual fund investor is stuck with a weaker portfolio, not because he chose funds badly, but because of circumstances beyond his control: the market manipulation of the big players.

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