The crimes are the work of Wall Street hedge fund managers and brokers who engage in a common trading strategy known as short-selling. A short sale is a way of making money when the price of a stock goes down. You borrow shares from someone else and immediately sell them off. If the price drops, you buy the shares back and return them to the original owner, pocketing the difference. If a company goes out of business, short-sellers hit the jackpot.
This is perfectly legal and unobjectionable. But some short-sellers do not play by the rules. A small group of powerful hedge fund managers stop at nothing to annihilate the companies they sell short. Their tactics include: blackmail, smear campaigns, espionage, fraud, harassment, extortion, bribery, rumor-mongering, sabotage, off-shore money laundering, political cronyism, frivolous lawsuits, witness tampering, biased financial research, false identities, bogus credit ratings, bribery, libelous blogs, bad science, forgery, wiretapping, counterfeiting, collusion, lying, cheating, threats and theft.
Their most egregious trick is to sell “phantom stock.” By exploiting a glitch in Wall Street’s computerized trading system, and a loophole in federal regulations, some hedge funds sell virtually unlimited amounts of stock that they have not yet borrowed or purchased. This is often referred to as “naked short selling.” Hedge funds use this tactic to flood the market with supply and drive down prices – which is blatantly illegal…
Short-sellers’ collusive behavior and dubious tactics might have contributed to the demise in March, 2008, of Bear Stearns, America’s fifth-largest investment bank. The Chairman of the SEC recently told the U.S. Senate that the SEC is investigating precisely this possibility. The consensus among economists is that if the Federal Reserve had not intervened, the fall of Bear Stearns would have triggered the collapse of the American financial system. Similarly collusive “bear raids” contributed to the great crash of 1929.
SEC officials fail to prosecute the criminals even as they suggest that miscreant short-sellers have put the American financial system at morbid risk.
Clearly, this is a scandal of epic proportions.
Which raises the question: Where the hell is our media?