Article: Stunning Confessions of a Short Seller

Article - Media

Stunning Confessions of a Short Seller
Michelle Celarier, 22 June 2021

Anonymous short activist Rota Fortunae profited from put options on Farmland Partners — and now admits the relevant report he authored was riddled with errors.

The proliferation of short activist research in recent years has raised red flags about some of the originality, accuracy, and depth of these works — especially when combined with put options that are timed to coincide with the publication of reports that might send the stocks into a tailspin.

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Article: MindGeek Execs and Owners — Along With Visa and Colbeck Capital — Hit With U.S. Lawsuit

Article - Media

MindGeek Execs and Owners — Along With Visa and Colbeck Capital — Hit With U.S. Lawsuit

Michelle Celarier, 17 June 2021

Thirty-four women who claim they are victims of Pornhub filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against the company’s secretive Canadian parent, MindGeek; its owners and executives; Visa, which processes payments for the porn site; and hedge fund Colbeck Capital, which underwrote a debt financing for the company.

“MindGeek is a classic criminal enterprise run, according to those who know it best, ‘just like the Sopranos,’” according to the complaint, written by Mike Bowe, partner at Brown Rudnick, who is representing the plaintiffs in the case. Continue reading “Article: MindGeek Execs and Owners — Along With Visa and Colbeck Capital — Hit With U.S. Lawsuit”

Article: Bill Ackman Sent a Text to the CEO of Mastercard. What Happened Next Is a Parable for ESG.

Article - Media

Bill Ackman Sent a Text to the CEO of Mastercard. What Happened Next Is a Parable for ESG.

Michelle Celarier, 16 June 2021

On a Saturday morning last December, Bill Ackman was scrolling through Twitter when an article in The New York Times caught his eye. “The Children of Pornhub,” by Nicholas Kristof, told how unauthorized sex — and rape and torture — videos were being spread across the internet on a website called Pornhub, one of the most popular in the world.

Ackman, who has four daughters, was outraged when he read how one teenager ended up a Pornhub victim after sending a naked video of herself to a boy she had a crush on. Harassed and humiliated, the young girl attempted suicide. Continue reading “Article: Bill Ackman Sent a Text to the CEO of Mastercard. What Happened Next Is a Parable for ESG.”

Article: Hindenburg Research Shorts One of the Biggest SPAC Winners: DraftKings

Article - Media

Hindenburg Research Shorts One of the Biggest SPAC Winners: DraftKings

Michelle Celarier, 15 June 2021

Nate Anderson’s Hindenburg Research, the short activist firm that burst onto the scene last fall with an exposé of electric truck maker Nikola, is back with its fifth big takedown of a special-purpose acquisition company.

This time Anderson has set his sights on DraftKings, the online gambling site which went public in one of the hottest SPAC deals of 2020. His firm alleges that DraftKings has “extensive dealings in black-market gaming, money laundering, and organized crime.” Continue reading “Article: Hindenburg Research Shorts One of the Biggest SPAC Winners: DraftKings”

Article: SEC Confirms Probe of SoftBank

Article - Media, Publications

SEC Confirms Probe of SoftBank

Michelle Celarier, 24 March 2021

SoftBank is the subject of an active investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to PlainSite, a legal transparency initiative.

The research provider on Wednesday shared the SEC’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Aaron Greenspan, the founder of PlainSite, a joint venture of Think Computer Corporation and Think Computer Foundation.

Greenspan said the SEC probe appears to be related to SoftBank’s trading unit, SB Northstar. He told Institutional Investor that news last year about SoftBank’s options trading triggered his initial FOIA request, which was dated December 2, 2020. Continue reading “Article: SEC Confirms Probe of SoftBank”

Article: Melvin Capital Is Facing Nine Lawsuits Related to the GameStop Frenzy

Article - Media, Publications

Melvin Capital Is Facing Nine Lawsuits Related to the GameStop Frenzy

Michelle Celarier, Institutional Investor, 22 March 2021

Gabriel Plotkin’s Melvin Capital, the hedge fund at the center of the GameStop trading frenzy in January, is a defendant in nine lawsuits by retail investors alleging a conspiracy to limit trading that caused them to lose money.

The hedge fund revealed the existence of the lawsuits in its annual ADV filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Melvin was famously short GameStop and lost more than 50 percent during January following a short squeeze orchestrated by a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets, whose members included retail investors in GameStop. As the stock soared, various online brokerages catering to those investors, including Robinhood, restricted buying shares of GameStop, among other stocks heavily shorted by Melvin.

Article: The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short-Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It

Article - Media, Publications

The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short-Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It

Michelle Celarier, 30 November 2020

John Fichthorn had been in the hedge fund business for more than 20 years when a half-hour phone call with a stranger put him on high alert. In December 2017, Fichthorn — a veteran short-seller and the founder of hedge fund Dialectic Capital Management — had joined the board of a troubled small-cap company called Health Insurance Innovations. But when he happened to mention its name to a prospective investor a year later, the man told him an alarming detail. Continue reading “Article: The Dark Money Secretly Bankrolling Activist Short-Sellers — and the Insiders Trying to Expose It”

Article: In Pursuit of the Naked Short by Alexis Stokes

Article - Academic

In Pursuit of the Naked Short

Alexis Stokes, Texas State University

Journal of Law and Business 5/1 (Spring 2009)

This article explores the origins of naked short-selling litigation; considers
the failures of significant naked short-selling lawsuits in federal court;
surveys the obstacles erected collectively by constitutional standing requirements, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, brokerage firms, death spiral financiers, and the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation; examines the efficacy of Regulation SHO, SEC rule 10b-21, and new FINRA rules; discusses recent state legislation and state court litigation; and identifies non-litigation options to curb naked short-selling. Ultimately, this article seeks to answer the question: If manipulative naked short-selling is more than a mythological scapegoat for
small cap failure, what remedies are, or should be, available?

PDF (62 Pages): Article In Pursuit of the Naked Short