Thomas J. Boulton, Marcus V. Braga-Alves
Journal of Financial Markets, 1 November 2010
On July 15, 2008, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced temporary restrictions on naked short sales of the stocks of 19 financial firms. The restrictions offer a unique empirical setting to test Miller’s (1977) conjecture that short-sale constraints result in overpriced securities and low subsequent returns. Consistent with Miller’s overpricing hypothesis, we find evidence of a positive (negative) market reaction to the announcement (expiration) of the short-sale restrictions. Announcement returns are higher for firms that appear to be subject to more naked short selling in the days immediately preceding the announcement of the restrictions.