I have written previously for the Prospect about the frenzy over GameStop (GME), the video game and electronics company. By now, you know the story. Millions of retail investors made the stock soar by over 1,000 percent in January 2021. This brought disaster upon a handful of hedge funds that had bet on GameStop’s stock to drop. According to Markets Insider, one analyst estimated losses in February of roughly $19 billion. The hedge fund Melvin Capital reportedly closed out its position after taking a drubbing of 51 percent. Another fund, Maplelane, lost 40 percent.
This week and last, AMC was targeted again and its shares skyrocketed 496% between May 24 and June 2 before retracing Thursday.
What Happened: The squeeze in GameStop was caused by retail and institutional traders rushing into the stock, and some hedge funds covering their short positions, which drove the price up to astronomical levels. Robinhood and a number of other brokers then restricted trading and caused an illiquidity event that dropped its stock down almost 90% over the following nine days. Continue reading “Article: What Traders Need To Know About GameStop And Naked Short Selling”
The key is naked short selling, when traders sell stocks they do not own, claiming they have borrowed or located where they can borrow them, and then never deliver the shares to buyers. More shares in the market drives their price down. Short sellers plan to then buy the shares at a cheaper price and deliver them. Or often they don’t deliver them at all. They “fail.”
At the House Financial Services Committee hearing last week on the GameStop debacle, there was an elephant in the room: naked short selling.
Short selling, effectively betting that a stock will go down, involves a trader selling shares he does not own, hoping to buy them back at a lower price to make money on the spread. The trader is supposed to locate (or have a “reasonable belief” he can locate) or borrow the shares in brokerage accounts, and then transfer them to the buyer within two days. This accounts for as much as 50 percent of daily trading. Continue reading “Article: The GameStop Mess Exposes the Naked Short Selling Scam”
Lucy Komisar is a New York City-based investigative journalist. She writes about offshore banking, corporate secrecy, international money laundering, and how they relate to corporate fraud; international corruption; the looting by dictators; financing of terrorism; international crime including arms, drug and people trafficking; and tax evasion.She has published several important books as well as reports, and many award-winning articles that set a gold standard for reporting with intelligence and integrity on white collar financial crime.
As stocks are in free fall, a scam run by the big banks/broker-dealers for the benefit of themselves and their hedge fund clients threatens to worsen the situation of large and small American companies and investors.
It’s when the bank/broker-dealers buy stocks, pocket the money and fail to deliver to clients the shares they are supposed to settle through the national stock clearing house. In another industry that might be called embezzling.
Robert Morgenthau, who was the District Attorney of Manhattan for 33 years, died today at 99. He was a mortal enemy of the corrupt offshore bank and corporate secrecy system and used the fact of dollars settling in Manhattan banks to go after money-launderers throughout the world.
“Junk” explains Wall Street corruption better than most newspapers do
The Komisar Scoop, 1 February 2018
I have been doing investigative journalism about financial and corporate corruption for 20 years. Ayad Akhtar’s play is right on the mark.
It is based on the story of the corrupt junk bond trader Michael Milken. He got confederates to manipulate stocks so he could take over companies to loot and destroy them. It was a scandal of the 1980s. Too bad the market corruption he revealed never stopped.
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning former chief economist of the World Bank, says that the way to solve corruption and money-laundering facilitated by offshore banks that run secret accounts is to “shut them down.” And the way to do that is to ban non-transparent banks from US correspondent accounts. He spoke at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting today.