Article: Bernard Madoff, the Mafia, and Naked Short Selling

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Bernard Madoff, the Mafia, and Naked Short Selling

Mark Mitchell

DeepCapture, 19 January 2009

Bernard L. Madoff was once the chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange. He was one of the most important market makers on Wall Street. And he managed what was, by some estimates, the largest hedge fund on the planet.

Yes, Bernard Madoff was an impressive man. That much was clear even before we learned that his $50 billion Ponzi scheme may have been orchestrated in cahoots with the most powerful, sophisticated, and indiscriminately murderous organized crime syndicate the world has ever known.

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Article: Deutsche Bank Sold Massive Amounts of Phantom Stock

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Deutsche Bank Sold Massive Amounts of Phantom Stock

Mark Mitchell

DeepCapture, 14 October 2008

A couple of days before Lehman fell and all hell broke loose on Wall Street, Floyd Norris, the chief business correspondent of The New York Times, published a blog (headline: “Short Sale Conspiracies”) wherein he implied that I was mentally insane for suggesting that Deutsche Bank Securities had been caught selling “massive amounts of phantom stock.”

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Article: The Naked Short Selling That Toppled Wall Street

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The Naked Short Selling That Toppled Wall Street

Mark Mitchell

DeepCapture, 2 October 2008

The Wall Street Journal stated in a lead editorial last week that the SEC was “reasonable” to “clamp down” on naked short selling. Well, that was progress of sorts, though one wonders how it could have taken all these years for the nation’s most important newspaper to suggest that it might be “reasonable” to put an end to criminal activity that has eviscerated hundreds of companies and destroyed countless lives.

And now that this criminal activity has been implicated in the Humpty Dumptying of our financial system, one grows wistful for the golden age of journalism when editorialists (people working for famous newspapers, not just cyber weirdos) would express a little outrage, demand that heads roll – muster something better than “reasonable” to describe the limpid “clamp down” of an SEC that bows in oily servitude to the very short-sellers who manhandled our markets.

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Article: The Short Seller Myth of “Market Efficiency”

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The Short Seller Myth of “Market Efficiency”

Mark Mitchell

DeepCapture, 12 September 2008

“The SEC’s public data say that on any given day over the first three months of this year, there were more than one billion shares that had been sold and failed to deliver (within the allotted 3 days) and that 70% of those fails were concentrated in just 100 companies. That’s a real red flag for the SEC that naked short selling is very widespread, is highly concentrated, and consequently might be being used today to manipulate the price of scores of stocks.”

-Former Deputy Secretary of Commerce Robert Shapiro on CNBC

It’s great that CNBC allowed someone to report this news. It seems pretty interesting – criminals manufacturing piles of phantom stock in order to systematically manipulate the share prices of perhaps 100 companies. Come to think of it, it sounds like a really big financial scandal.

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Article: Flames Flare Over Naked Shorts

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Flames Flare Over Naked Shorts

Dan Mitchell

New York Times, 20 January 2007

UNSUSPECTING readers of certain stock message boards may be forgiven for believing they have stumbled into a flame war among 14-year-old boys. But the increasingly vicious online dispute actually involves, among others, the chief executive of a publicly traded corporation and a longtime business journalist.

The chief executive is Patrick Byrne, who in recent years has taken to asserting that a vast conspiracy of securities traders, journalists and government officials is bent on bringing down the stock of his company, Overstock.com, a peddler of excess inventory. The journalist is Gary Weiss, the author and former BusinessWeek reporter who has made a second career out of ridiculing Mr. Byrne on his blog (garyweiss.blogspot.com).

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