The SEC continued its quest to eliminate short-selling entirely from U.S. markets by investigating whether traders actually spread rumors. I also heard that the FBI might be checking into the accusation that teenagers are having sex in cars or even in their parents' bedrooms while adults are elsewhere. Like the parents of those kids, snooping through email and MySpace comments is the most effective discovery device to uncover these nefarious acts. No word yet on how long hedge funds will be grounded, or if they can go to prom.
According to a Wall Street Journal article today:
The [disclosure] order is akin to a subpoena and requires information to be handed over with a sworn statement attesting to its accuracy. It seeks a wide range of trading data and email communications over a period of three weeks involving American International Group Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Morgan Stanley, Washington Mutual Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co.,
And, maybe it is just me, but is anyone else getting tired of the obligatory short sale description paragraph that some cabal of financial press editors seems to have mandated for any article on this topic? Can't we just put "Obligatory short-sale description is hereby incorporated by reference" in the footnotes or something?
In a regular short sale, a trader sells borrowed stock in hopes that it drops and can be bought at a lower price.
If you don't know that yet, the Journal should be locking you on the other side of their paywall.
SEC Presses Hedge Funds [Wall Street Journal]