Article: Naked Short Selling — Illegal but Hard to Prove

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Naked Short Selling — Illegal but Hard to Prove

Gregg Greenberg, The Street, 16 July 2008

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — The Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox on Tuesday said the regulator planned to crack down on naked short-selling of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac. Cox said in a testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the agency will require short-sellers to borrow shares of the two government-sponsored mortgage giants and broker dealers including Lehman Brothers (LEH) , Goldman Sachs (GS) – Get Report, Merrill Lynch (MER) and Morgan Stanley (MS) – Get Report before selling them. The new restrictions are called for under a temporary emergency order that expires in 30 days.

For a refresher on why this is a big deal, here you go.

The traditional method for making money in the stock market is to “buy low and sell high.” But there is another way to profit called “shorting,” where the trick is to “sell high and buy low.” There are strict rules when it comes to shorting stocks, however. One way they are broken is via naked shorting.

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