Smith On Stock, 22 May 2019
In previous blogs I traced the history of stock trading from the 1960s when stock certificates and cash were physically exchanged to settle trades to the paper free, totally electronic system that exists today. Instead of owning stock certificates, we now own digital entries located somewhere in the vaults of the inscrutable Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). This electronic system is absolutely critical to the functioning of our capital markets and our strong economic system. However, the DTCC and the prime brokers who own it have made the clearing and settlement system virtually non-transparent. This enables the routine manipulation of primarily but not exclusively, small stocks through illegal naked shorting.